Contested Constitutionalism? Northern Ireland and the British-Irish relationship since 2010

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Title: Contested Constitutionalism? Northern Ireland and the British-Irish relationship since 2010
Authors: Todd, Jennifer
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Date: 16-Jun-2016
Abstract: This article argues that the root of recent crises and political stalemate in Northern Ireland lies in a constitutional failure. The Good Friday Agreement of 1998 played an innovative constitutional role in Northern Ireland, and this was central to peace and stability. Yet its own principles were underspecified and disputed. Strong convergent action by the British and Irish states functioned as an informal mode of constitutional adjudication and it stabilised the settlement. It failed, however, to emphasise constitutional principles or to embed them within the politics of Northern Ireland. British and Irish interests and capacities have changed and with them the role the states play in Northern Ireland; the result from 2012 has been recurrent political crisis. If the informal British-Irish approach cannot be sustained, the likely alternative – a narrower form of British sovereigntism – carries still greater dangers to stability.
Type of material: Journal Article
Publisher: Oxford University Press
Journal: Parliamentary Affairs
Volume: 70
Issue: 2
Start page: 301
End page: 321
Copyright (published version): 2016 Hansard Society
Keywords: British-Irish relationsConflict resolutionGood Friday (Belfast) AgreementInformal constitutionalismNorthern Ireland
DOI: 10.1093/pa/gsw019
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Language: en
Status of Item: Peer reviewed
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Appears in Collections:Politics and International Relations Research Collection

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