From Sunningdale to Good Friday: Power Entrenchment and Paramilitary Inclusion
CitationNicholson, David E. 2009. From Sunningdale to Good Friday: Power Entrenchment and Paramilitary Inclusion. Master's thesis, Harvard University, Extension School: Master of Liberal Arts in Ext. Studies (ALM).
AbstractThe central question that guides my research is: how do civil wars end? In answering the question, I focus on the case of Northern Ireland to emphasize the importance of history in political outcomes. My argument isolates variables that determined the outcomes of the Sunningdale and Good Friday Agreements. The first variable, power entrenchment, derived from legal, economic, political, and social arrangements that dated to the Cromwellian settlement. These arrangements permitted the loyalists/unionists of Northern Ireland to wield hegemonic power over the Irish Catholic community for over three centuries. The entrenched power of the unionists, present during the implementation of the Sunningdale Agreement, enabled the unionists to bring down the power-sharing executive. In 1985, the British government signed the Anglo-Irish Agreement (AIA) with the Irish Republic. The AIA transformed the historical power relationships in the conflict. Without their historical support from the British government, the unionists faced the reality of their political destiny being determined without them. In contrast to Sunningdale, the development and implementation of the Good Friday agreement did not meet with a Unionist revolt. The second variable - paramilitary inclusion in the Good Friday peace process - ensured a durable settlement to the civil war in Northern Ireland.
Citable link to this pagehttps://nrs.harvard.edu/URN-3:HUL.INSTREPOS:37367344
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