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Paying for peace: comparing the EU's role in the conflicts in Northern Ireland and Kosovo

Hughes, James (2009) Paying for peace: comparing the EU's role in the conflicts in Northern Ireland and Kosovo. Ethnopolitics, 84 (3 - 4). pp. 275-285. ISSN 1744-9057

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Identification Number: 10.1080/17449050903086914


The conflicts in Northern Ireland and Kosovo are among the most important recent conflicts in Europe for the EU's ambition to develop a role and capacity in conflict management. The EU has frequently presented Northern Ireland as a 'model' for conflict management, but it is not clear what the substantive elements of the model are, or whether lessons have been transferred to other cases such as Kosovo. The EU's role in both conflicts is analysed, in particular as regards the impact of its immense funding on peace-building and reconciliation, and how EU capacity in this policy field has developed over the last decade. The tensions and contradictions in EU policy are illustrated in both cases. The article concludes that core features of the model of political accommodation in Northern Ireland are the nature of the consociational institutions, the virtual absence of transitional justice, and the policy acceptance of the segregated social structures. Such lessons are not easily compatible with EU declaratory policy on conflict management.

Item Type: Article
Official URL:
Additional Information: © 2009 Routledge
Divisions: Government
Subjects: J Political Science > JZ International relations
J Political Science > JN Political institutions (Europe)
Date Deposited: 30 Nov 2009 15:00
Last Modified: 29 Sep 2021 23:08

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