Incomplete peace and social stagnation : shortcomings of the Good Friday Agreement
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Twenty years beyond its signing, the Good Friday Agreement remains the cornerstone of ‘peace’ in Northern Ireland, even as it has faced political, social, and cultural challenges. Despite the lack of renewed violence in the region since 1998, the Good Friday Agreement left many issues unaddressed, hampered by the region’s reality as a ‘deeply divided society’ and ultimately a ‘negative peace’. This article seeks to address the reasons peace has failed to flourish in the region, claiming that a ‘peace process’ ultimately concerned with governmental structures and paramilitary ceasefire was inadequate to truly resolve the conflict, resulting in the endurance of tensions into the present. As a result, the legacy of the Good Friday Agreement is a social stalemate from which the region cannot progress. Northern Ireland remains polarised by many of the same differences visible at the start of the Troubles half a century ago, as old divisions play out in new ways. This has resulted in a ‘culture war’, further dividing the populace. Current political instability in both Northern Ireland and the United Kingdom continue to challenge the tentative peace in the region, raising doubts that such divisions can be reasonably overcome.
Hall , A L 2018 , ' Incomplete peace and social stagnation : shortcomings of the Good Friday Agreement ' , Open Library of Humanities , vol. 4 , no. 2 , 7 . https://doi.org/10.16995/olh.251
Open Library of Humanities
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