From the ‘Long War’ to the ‘Long Peace’: An introduction to the special edition

Shirlow, P ORCID: 0000-0002-7483-9859 and Coulter, Colin
(2019) From the ‘Long War’ to the ‘Long Peace’: An introduction to the special edition. Capital and Class.

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© The Author(s) 2018. In this introduction, we set out to provide the appropriate historical context for the nine essays that follow. The article documents all of the tortuous course that the Northern Irish peace process has taken over the last two decades, but its principal focus falls on the period in which the previously unlikely pairing of Sinn Féin and the Democratic Unionist Party agreed to share power at Stormont. While the coalition partners were often at odds over ethno-national issues such flags and parades, they frequently found common cause when it came to the introduction of distinctly neoliberal social and economic strategies. The decade in which the two parties shared office seemed to offer the prospect, finally, of stable government in Northern Ireland. At the beginning of 2017, however, the tensions between Sinn Féin and the Democratic Unionists became insurmountable and led to the Stormont institutions being mothballed for a fifth time. Although often attributed to the introduction of a controversial green energy scheme in the six counties, the collapse of the power sharing executive owes its origins rather more to seismic political developments elsewhere in the United Kingdom. The outcome of the Brexit referendum has meant that Northern Ireland is now at the centre of a political storm that threatens/promises to usher in an era of radical constitutional change for the region.

Item Type: Article
Depositing User: Symplectic Admin
Date Deposited: 31 Jan 2019 10:10
Last Modified: 16 Sep 2022 12:59
DOI: 10.1177/0309816818818084