The Impact of Northern Ireland

As begin to finalise parts of my PhD proposal I have become very reflective on my educational and personal journey.  I have been questioning what has brought me to the place where I want to do a PhD and what passions are driving this desire for further study.

The more I think about it, the more I love Northern Ireland.  I am hoping to concentrate my PhD on analyising the effects of consociationalism on creating peace, exploring whether or not it has been an effective regulator of conflict or simply a means of promoting toleration.

Northern Ireland clearly has this weird way of gripping her people.  Not everyone; but certainly a great many.  For example I know of two other friends who are actively engaged in cutting edge research regarding Northern Ireland, and I’m sure there are many more. (1, 2)

What is it about this place?


4 thoughts on “The Impact of Northern Ireland

  1. Tom Curragh says:

    Interesting post! I wonder if what drives people to be so gripped to N Ireland is due to the troubles there. If you recall what I spoke about in our Arab-Israel class and how conflicts increase group and personal beliefs in where you have come from etc.

    I do love N Ireland though, especially the countryside. Giants Causeway as you have shown, and carrick a rede rope bridge just a couple of things that come to mind!

  2. I do think the conflict is an interesting point…something I should really look into more.

  3. Alex Pryce says:

    I read in some poetry criticism this week that Northern Ireland has an ‘excess of identity’ – whether it is Ulster, the six counties, the North, Northern Ireland, Catholic, Protestant, Orange, Green, Republican, Loyalist, Nationalist, Unionist etc. etc. Couple all this with our island status and you get some pretty complex feelings about the place.

    • I’ve been reading similar sorts of things recently. What book did you read that in just out of interest? I have been doing some reading that suggest because there is such a cornucopia of ethnic/religious make-ups that it’s too difficult for an umbrella cultural identity to emerge. Such an interesting thing to consider when the complexities of Northern Ireland are often trivialised to Protestants VS Catholics.

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