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  • Publication
    The Northern Ireland civic forum and a politics of recognition
    (University College Dublin. Institute for British-Irish Studies, 2004)
    The challenge of dealing with diversity within democracy and of creating a new political culture in a divided society is the starting point of this paper. Using theories of recognition, these questions are examined in relation to the Northern Ireland Civic Forum. The main question posed is to what extent the Civic Forum has contributed to a new political culture that accepts diversity, but also a common interest beyond diversity, or whether it has become a new arena within which the conflict plays itself out. The paper concludes that in its approach and composition the Forum represents something other than a new arena of conflict, but has yet to play a central role in creating a new political culture. It is an institution that may be able to deal with diversity in a less antagonistic way, creating a space where issues of common interest and diversity can be explored. In time it could play a part in improving the horizontal relationships in Northern Ireland.