Northern Ireland 20 Years after the Peace Deal
This week marks the twentieth anniversary of the historic Good Friday Agreement of 1998, which signaled an end to the three decades of violence in Northern Ireland known as the Troubles. Renouncing armed struggle, all sides pledged to pursue their aims peacefully through political accommodation. The price had been high: over 3500 deaths, tens of thousands injured, while communities were left with deep psychological scars and grievances.
Peace was not established overnight. Despite the wave of relief and elation, some neighborhoods in fact experienced an upsurge in violence following the agreement, with much uncertainty and suspicion regarding the path ahead. Put to a referendum, only half of the Unionist community who voted endorsed the peace deal. Just a few months later, the tragic Omagh bombing – in which 29 people were killed – was a violent demonstration of opposition to the agreement by a small but significant faction of dissident Republicans who called themselves the Real IRA.
Despite numerous setbacks, however, the mechanisms for peace were gradually implemented. Key milestones, among others, included the decommissioning of paramilitary weapons in 2005, and, following years of suspension, the election of a new Northern Ireland Assembly and power-sharing executive in 2007. A Parades Commission had also been established to rule on contentious parades, while Sinn Fein’s acceptance of the newly reformed Police Service of Northern Ireland marked a breakthrough for the normalisation of law and order.
Read the full article here.
The Raucous Caucasus
The United States must restore its leverage and credibility in the restive region caught between Russia, Turkey, and Iran. The news from the Caucasus that reaches the United States these […]
A Reflection on U.S. Grand Strategy: Trump and the Challenge for South Korean Diplomacy
Where does President Trump’s foreign policy fit within the existing paradigms envisioning America’s role in the world? Or does it represent a radical new departure? Providing a historical perspective, Ildo […]
The International Politics of the Armenian-Azerbaijani Conflict
This book frames the Armenian-Azerbaijani conflict over Nagorno-Karabakh in the context of European and international security. It is the first book to focus on the politics of the conflict rather […]
The U.S. and Turkey: Past the Point of No Return?
With Ankara and Washington on a collision course in northern Syria, both sides will have to rethink their priorities if they want to salvage an increasingly hollow alliance.
Nordkorea – strategisk hotspot
Kina är delvs bundet av sitt vänskapsavtal med Nordkorea. Den kinesiska regeringen har dock gjort klart att man inte intervenerar om Nordkorea provocerar fram en konflikt, och det är tveksamt att man militärt skulle stödja landet utan en direkt amerikansk invasion av Nordkorea som hotar kinesiska intressen, skriver Niklas Swanström.
Could Spain Go the Way of Yugoslavia?
In recent years, the European Union has been bogged down by one crisis after another—from Greece to the Euro to Brexit. But happily, none of these have endangered what has underpinned European integration since the late 1940s: securing lasting peace among European states. Europe has not been spared political violence, as residents of Northern Ireland and the Basque country can attest to. But to almost all Europeans, the notion of armed conflict within their midst is no longer even thinkable. While the Catalonia crisis is not destined to degenerate into large-scale violence, European and American leaders do not appear to take the potential for conflict seriously. They are mistaken.