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Zero-sum politics in contested spaces: The unintended consequencesof legislative peacebuilding in Northern Ireland

McDowell, Sara, Braniff, Máire and Murphy, Joanne (2017) Zero-sum politics in contested spaces: The unintended consequencesof legislative peacebuilding in Northern Ireland. Political Geography, 61 . pp. 193-202. [Journal article]

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URL: http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.polgeo.2017.09.001

DOI: 10.1016/j.polgeo.2017.09.001

Abstract

Studies of ethno-nationalist conflict have repeatedly underlined the significance of policy interventions that seek to de-territorialise contested space after armed conflict and create more plural societies. Creating ‘shared’ space in divided societies is often critically important and inextricably linked to peacebuilding. However much of this scholarship has tended to focus on the relative success or failure of such policies. This paper conversely explores the ‘unintended consequences’ (Merton, 1936) of legislating around fragile public space in Northern Ireland and considers its potential to undermine, rather than reinforce efforts to transition to peace. Drawing on a body of work around unintended consequences, territorial socialisation and peacebuilding, we argue that such legislation in ethno-nationalist societies emerging from conflict is a double-edged sword which can be utilised both explicitly and implicitly to reactivate tribal spatial politics and exacerbate divisions in deeply divided societies

Item Type:Journal article
Keywords:Unintended consequences Zero-sum conflict Legislation Territorial socialisation Peacebuilding Northern Ireland
Faculties and Schools:Faculty of Social Sciences > School of Sociology and Applied Social Studies
Faculty of Life and Health Sciences > School of Geography and Environmental Sciences
Faculty of Life and Health Sciences
Faculty of Social Sciences
Research Institutes and Groups:Institute for Research in Social Sciences > Politics & International Studies
Environmental Sciences Research Institute
Institute for Research in Social Sciences
Environmental Sciences Research Institute > Human Environments
ID Code:38910
Deposited By: Dr Sara McDowell
Deposited On:14 Nov 2017 15:05
Last Modified:14 Nov 2017 15:05

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