Conflict regulation and party competition in Northern-Ireland
European journal of political research, 1991, Vol. 20, No. 1, pp. 67-92
MITCHELL, Paul, Conflict regulation and party competition in Northern-Ireland, European journal of political research, 1991, Vol. 20, No. 1, pp. 67-92 - https://hdl.handle.net/1814/71326
Retrieved from Cadmus, EUI Research Repository
This paper attempts an application of Nordlinger's theory of conflict regulation to Northern Ireland. This represents a shift away from an institutional focus on consociational ‘devices’to the more basic concern of establishing whether the basis for any conciliatory action actually exists in the first place. The first section concludes that structured elite predominance (a virtual precondition for conflict regulation) characterises the main Northern Ireland political parties (although it is relatively weak in the case of the Ulster Unionist Party). However, section two, in an addition to Nordlinger's framework, argues that the existence of a dual party system severely hamstrings the development of elite political security, by stimulating within‐bloc electoral competition. Moreover, section three stresses that the key to an acceptable consociational formula is the balance which is struck between the internal and external dimensions of the problem. Finally, the paper assesses the prospects for ‘coercive consociationalism’, in the light of the Anglo‐Irish Agreement and the political developments over the last five years which it induced.
First published: July 1991
Cadmus permanent link: https://hdl.handle.net/1814/71326
Full-text via DOI: 10.1111/j.1475-6765.1991.tb00256.x
Publisher: Wiley-Blackwell Publishing Ltd.
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