Between Conflict and Peace: An Analysis of the Complex Consequences of the Good Friday Agreement

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In the two decades since signing, the GFA continues to generate acrimonious debate over whether it has brought about sustainable peace or fomented weak and sectarian governance institutions. In this article, I review the formation and outworking of the GFA. In so doing, I go beyond either/or analyses of the GFA to identify the complex forms of political agency it has generated not necessarily envisioned by the Agreement’s architects. I draw particular attention to the ways in which the central support beams of the Agreement – consociationalism and Europeanisation – have gradually become weakened to threaten the sustainability of power–sharing institutions.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)395-416
Number of pages22
JournalParliamentary Affairs
Issue number2
Early online date3 Sep 2017
Publication statusPublished - 1 Apr 2018



  • Good Friday Agreement
  • Northern Ireland
  • Consociationalism
  • Brexit
  • Devolution

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