© 2016

World Opinion and the Northern Ireland Peace Process


  • Analyses the reasons behind Northern Ireland making peace in between two decades marked by terrorism and ethnic violence

  • Combines political history with international relations theory to discuss world opinion of Norther Ireland's peace process

  • Considers the relationship between national image and national identity


Table of contents

  1. Front Matter
    Pages i-xiv
  2. Frank Louis Rusciano
    Pages 1-8
  3. Frank Louis Rusciano
    Pages 85-120
  4. Back Matter
    Pages 187-202

About this book


This book uniquely combines global opinion theory with the English school of international relations to explain the effects of world opinion on the Northern Ireland peace process. It begins by analyzing the reasons why the civil rights movement imported from the United States ended in the Troubles. It traces how national identity now arises in Northern Ireland as a negotiation between the area’s international image and its citizens’ national consciousness. Rusciano illustrates how world opinion affects patterns of speech and silencing, and the effect this has on the peace process. He also shows how those negotiating the peace were affected by world opinion. Finally, the volume concludes by describing a possible path toward completing the peace process consistent with world opinion. 


Good Friday agreement Belfast peace agreement Irish politics Comparative politics Northern Irish identity ethnic conflict religious conflict Catholicism Protestantism Unionists Republicans

Authors and affiliations

  1. 1.University in LawrenceTownshipUSA

About the authors

Frank Louis Rusciano has been a Fulbright Policy Studies Award Scholar at the University of Ulster in Northern Ireland, a three-time Alexander von Humboldt Fellow in Germany, and a Guest Professor at the University of Mainz. His books include Isolation and Paradox: Defining “the Public” in Modern Political Analysis (1989), World Opinion and the Emerging International Order (1998), and Global Rage after the Cold War (2006). 

Bibliographic information


“Professor Rusciano has drawn upon rich sources of evidence including the Northern Ireland Life and Times Survey, and CAIN (Conflict Archive on the Internet), to create a text that takes a fresh and innovative approach to researching identity and citizenship in Northern Ireland. What makes this book distinctive is its unique approach, examining Northern Ireland through an international lens and comparing disputes over historical narratives in Northern Ireland to the historical debates that occurred in Germany in the 1980s. This text is a valuable and significant addition to the existing literature on Northern Ireland.” (Professor Ruth Fee, Ulster University, UK)

“The conflict in Northern Ireland has occupied a large amount of my reading time since the 1990s, enough so that I’d concluded there wasn’t much left to discover. This book disabused me of that idea. Rusciano’s prism of world opinion puts an entirely new light on the Northern Ireland peace process. It’s a must read for those seeking to understand conflict resolution.” (Professor Thomas E. Patterson, Harvard University, USA)

“This excellent book sheds light on the impact of world opinion on the complicated peace process in Northern Ireland. The study has important implications for other peace processes, such as the one between Israel and the Palestinians. The emphasis on the post-Cold War transformation is especially significant. The author’s comparative, empirical and theoretical analysis is laudable. Ideas such as “imagined international community” are creative and forward-thinking and should impact our overall perspective on the nature of global politics in years to come.” (Professor Ilan Peleg, Lafayette College, USA)