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Contested Peace

The Hidden Costs of Unification

    There is strong support for unification of North and South in the Republic of Ireland, and Brexit has caused a resurgence of interest in the topic in the North. However, historical examples of unification have shown that the process can be challenging, creating new divides in the process of bridging old ones. The 1990 reunification of Germany has caused economic and social issues which continue to shape life in Germany today. Analysts project similar problems in a unified Ireland, encouraging politicians and citizens alike to question the peacebuilding potential of unification.

    Twenty-Five Years of the Good Friday Agreement and the Challenges of Grassroots Peacebuilding

      2023 marks the 25th anniversary of the Good Friday Agreement, but how much has changed in Northern Ireland? Grassroots or bottom-up peacebuilding efforts have proven to be effective in easing tensions in the region, but they themselves are subject to the pressures of funding and the maintenance of borders. This entry outlines the structure and terms of the Good Friday Agreement, giving the reader a comprehensive understanding of this momentous peace treaty, while also examining some of the challenges faced by grassroots peacebuilding operations in the region, as identified by Nicola Browne.

      The ‘Wolfe Tones’: Rebel Songs and the Rhetoric of Peace in Ireland

        Established in 1963, the Wolfe Tones are one of Irelands oldest and most loved bands. Their traditional rhythms and mournful ballads enchant young and old alike, but does the Wolfe Tones’ music help or hinder peacebuilding on the island of Ireland? In this interview on the Two Johnnies, the Wolfe Tones assert that their music does not fall into the category of rebel songs, but their rather negative rhetoric surrounding peace and those who seek it could suggest otherwise. This entry examines the content of the Wolfe Tones’ interview on the Two Johnnies’ Podcast, painting a picture of the tension which can exist between art and peacekeeping in Ireland.

        “Get Your Brits Out”- ‘Kneecap’, Activism and Antagonism in Northern Ireland

          Kneecap are a rap trio from West Belfast who’s Irish-language music and anti-establishment stance have made them the subject of a lot of criticism in Ireland and beyond. Kneecap brand themselves as activists, however this characterisation has also caused much controversy in Northern Ireland, raising questions about the grey area between activism and antagonism.