It is now 17 years since the Good Friday Agreement brought what seemed to be a definitive end to the decades-long sectarian crisis in Northern Ireland. But, in a case that has repercussions for other peace processes such as Israel-Palestine, one of the architects of the agreement says there is still much work to be done before a line can be drawn beneath the conflict once and for all.
This week the ISN explores the promises and pitfalls of power-sharing arrangements as they evolve from negotiation to implementation and functional reality.
This week’s Special Report contains the following content:
- An Analysis by Dr Nicole Töpperwien of Ximpulse examines the delicate progression from armed conflict to power sharing.
- A Podcast interview with Dr Michael Kerr of King’s College London explores the important negotiating role played by parties external to a conflict.
- Security Watch stories about power-sharing arrangements from Zimbabwe and Kenya to Tatarstan.
- Publications housed in our Digital Library, including a recent US Institute of Peace paper on ‘Lebanon’s Unstable Equilibrium,’ following the creation of a power-sharing government led by Prime Minister Saad Hariri.
- Primary Resources, like the full texts of the Good Friday Agreement and the Zimbabwean power-sharing arrangement between the parties led by Robert Mugabe and Morgan Tsvangirai.
- Links to relevant websites, among them the BBC-run ‘Search for Peace’, which provides extensive information on the Northern Ireland peace process.
This week the heads of Northern Ireland’s leading parties sat together with UK Prime Minister Gordon Brown and Irish President Mary McAleese for an emergency meeting to save the country’s executive branch.
Officially, the issue at stake was the planned shift of power over the control of the police and judicial institutions from British to Northern Irish authorities. However, the Democratic Unionist Party (DUP) and Sinn Féin (SF) could not come to terms. On the one hand, there is the apparent issue of power sharing (which we’re covering in an upcoming weekly theme by the way). On the other hand, a main reason for dispute is parading.