Advertisement

Contesting Postwar Belfast

  • Ivan GusicEmail author
Chapter
Part of the Rethinking Peace and Conflict Studies book series (RCS)

Abstract

This chapter employs relational space on postwar Belfast (Northern Ireland) to understand the role of space in its urban conflicts over peace(s). The focus is both on how society produces and how it is produced by space in its material, perceived, and lived dimensions. The first line of analysis explores how Belfast’s seemingly given ethnonational geography is not “just there”, but—in contrast—is actively produced by those supporting the Catholic and Protestant ethnonational peace(s). This production happens through everything from erecting flags and painting murals to spreading fear of “the other” or clustering into “our/their” residential areas. The second line of analysis explores how Belfast’s built environment—e.g. its peacewalls and defensive architecture, its houses and roads, and its city centre—“talks back” to society by actively producing ethnonational and socioeconomic divisions that in turn support the ethnonational and normalising peace(s) whilst undermining the coexisting one.

Keywords

Belfast Northern Ireland Relational space Ethnonational geography Built environment 

References

  1. Bairner, Alan and Peter Shirlow. 2010. “When leisure turns to fear: fear, mobility, and ethno-sectarianism in Belfast”. Leisure Studies 22(3): 203–221.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  2. Bew, Paul and Gordon Gillespie. 1993. Northern Ireland: a chronology of the troubles, 1968–1993. Gill & Macmillan.Google Scholar
  3. Boal, Frederick W. 1996. “Integration and division: sharing and segregating in Belfast”. Planning Practice and Research 11(2): 151–158.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  4. ———. 2002. “Belfast: walls within”. Political Geography 21: 687–694.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  5. Boal, Frederick W. and David N. Livingstone. 1984. “The frontier in the city: ethnonationalism in Belfast”. International Political Science Review 5(2): 161–179.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  6. Bollens, Scott A. 1999. Urban peace-building in divided societies: Belfast and Johannesburg. Westview Press.Google Scholar
  7. ———. 2000. On narrow ground: urban policy and ethnic conflict in Jerusalem and Belfast. State University of New York Press.Google Scholar
  8. ———. 2012. City and soul in divided societies. Routledge.Google Scholar
  9. ———. 2018. Trajectories of conflict and peace: Jerusalem and Belfast since 1994. Routledge.Google Scholar
  10. Brand, Ralf. 2009. “Urban artefacts and social practices in a contested city”. Journal of Urban Technology 16(2–3): 35–60.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  11. Byrne, Jonny. 2012. “Belfast and beyond: local and international narratives of physical segregation?”. Shared Space 12: 5–20.Google Scholar
  12. Byrne, Jonny and Cathy Gormley-Heenan. 2014. “Beyond the walls: dismantling Belfast’s conflict architecture”. City: Analysis of Urban Trends, Culture, Theory, Policy, Action 18(4–5): 447–454.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  13. Carden, Siún. 2011. “Post-conflict Belfast ‘sliced and diced’: the case of the Gaeltacht Quarter”. Divided Cities/Contested States Working Paper 20: 1–19.Google Scholar
  14. Cunningham, Niall and Ian Gregory. 2014. “Hard to miss, easy to blame? Peacelines, interfaces and political deaths in Belfast during the troubles”. Political Geography 40: 64–78.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  15. Cunningham, Tim. 2014. “Changing direction: defensive planning in a post-conflict city”. City: Analysis of Urban Trends, Culture, Theory, Policy, Action 18(4–5): 455–462.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  16. English, Richard. 2003. Armed struggle: the history of IRA. Palgrave Macmillan.Google Scholar
  17. Gaffikin, Frank and Mike Morrissey. 2006. “Planning for peace in contested space”. International Journal of Urban and Regional Research 30(4): 873–893.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  18. ———. 2011. Planning in divided cities: collaborative shaping of contested space. Wiley-Blackwell.Google Scholar
  19. Graham, Brian and Catherine Nash. 2006. “A shared future: territoriality, pluralism and public policy in Northern Ireland”. Political Geography 25: 253–278.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  20. Hickey, Rosaleen. 2014. “The psychological dimensions of shared space in Belfast”. City: Analysis of Urban Trends, Culture, Theory, Policy, Action 18(4–5): 440–446.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  21. Hughes, Joanne, Andrea Campbell, Miles Hewstone and Ed Cairns. 2008. “‘What’s there to fear?’: comparative study of responses to the out-group in mixed and segregated areas of Belfast”. Peace & Change 33(4): 522–548.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  22. Jacobs, Jane. 1994. The death and life of great American cities. Penguin.Google Scholar
  23. Jarman, Neil. 1997. Material conflicts. Parades and visual display in Northern Ireland. New York: Berg.Google Scholar
  24. Johnston, Wesley. 2014. The Belfast Urban motorway: engineering, ambition and social conflict. Colourpoint Books.Google Scholar
  25. Knox, Colin. 2002. “‘See no evil, hear no evil’: insidious paramilitary violence in Northern Ireland”. British Journal of Criminology 42: 164–185.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  26. Lee, Adele. 2013. “Post-conflict Belfast”. City: Analysis of Urban Trends, Culture, Theory, Policy, Action 17(4): 523–525.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  27. Leonard, Madeleine. 2008. “Building, bolstering and bridging boundaries: teenagers’ negotiations of interface areas in Belfast”. Journal of Ethnic and Migration Studies 34(3): 471–489.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  28. ———. 2010. “Parochial geographies: growing up in divided Belfast”. Childhood 17(3): 329–342.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  29. Lisle, Debbie. 2006. “Local symbols, global networks: rereading the murals of Belfast”. Alternatives 31: 27–52.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  30. Lysaght, Karen and Anne Basten. 2002. “Violence, fear and ‘the everyday’: negotiating spatial practices in the city of Belfast”. In The meaning of violence, ed. Elizabeth Stanko. Routledge.Google Scholar
  31. McGarry, John, ed. 2001. Northern Ireland and the divided world: the Northern Ireland conflict and the Good Friday agreement in comparative perspective. Oxford University Press.Google Scholar
  32. McGarry, John and Brendan O’Leary. 1995. Explaining Northern Ireland: broken images. Wiley-Blackwell.Google Scholar
  33. Mitchell, Audra. 2011. Lost in transformation: violent peace and peaceful conflict in Northern Ireland. Palgrave Macmillan.Google Scholar
  34. Morrow, Ruth, Ciaran Mackel and John Dickson Fitzgerald. 2011. “Beyond the shadow space: architecture as a professional and creative process; during and post-conflict”. The Journal of Architecture 16(1): 57–70.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  35. Murtagh, Brendan. 2002. The Politics of territory: policy and segregation in Northern Ireland. Palgrave.Google Scholar
  36. ———. 2004. “Collaboration, equality and land-use planning”. Planning Theory & Practice 5(4): 453–469.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  37. ———. 2010. “Desegregation and place restructuring in new Belfast”. Urban Studies 48(6): 1119–1135.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  38. Murtagh, Brendan and Karen Keaveney. 2006. “Policy and conflict transformation in the ethnocratic city”. Space and Polity 10(2): 187–202.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  39. Murtagh, Brendan and Peter Shirlow. 2006. Belfast: segregation, violence, and the city. Pluto Press.Google Scholar
  40. Nagle, John. 2009a. “Sites of social centrality and segregation: Lefebvre in Belfast, a ‘divided city’”. Antipode 41(2): 326–347.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  41. ———. 2009b. “The right to Belfast City Centre: from ethnocracy to liberal multiculturalism”. Political Geography 28: 132–141.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  42. Neill, William J. V. 2004. Urban planning and cultural identity. Routledge.Google Scholar
  43. ———. 2006. “Return to Titanic and lost in the maze: the search for representation of ‘post-conflict’ Belfast”. Space and Polity 10(2): 109–120.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  44. Nolan, Paul. 2012. Northern Ireland peace monitoring report: number one. Community Relations Council.Google Scholar
  45. ———. 2013. Northern Ireland peace monitoring report: number two. Community Relations Council.Google Scholar
  46. ———. 2014. Northern Ireland peace monitoring report: number three. Community Relations Council.Google Scholar
  47. O’Dowd, Liam. 2014. “Symmetrical solutions, asymmetrical realities: beyond the politics of paralysis”. Studies in Conflict & Terrorism 37(9): 806–814.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  48. O’Dowd, Liam and Milena Komarova. 2011. “Contesting territorial fixity? a case study of regeneration in Belfast”. Urban Studies 48(10): 2013–3028.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  49. ———. 2013. “Three narrative in search of a city”. City: Analysis of Urban Trends, Culture, Theory, Policy, Action 17(4): 526–546.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  50. Rallings, Mary-Kathryn. 2014. “‘Shared space’ as symbolic capital: Belfast and the ‘right to the city’”. City: Analysis of Urban Trends, Culture, Theory, Policy, Action 18(4–5): 432–439.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  51. Ravenscroft, Emily. 2009. “The meaning of the Peacelines of Belfast”. Peace Review: A Journal of Social Justice 21: 213–221.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  52. Sack, Robert D. 1999. “A sketch of a geographic theory of morality”. Annals of the Association of American Geographers 89(1): 26–44.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  53. Shirlow, Peter. 2001. “Fear and ethnic division”. Peace Review 13(1): 67–74.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  54. ———. 2003a. “Ethnosectarianism and the reproduction of fear in Belfast”. Capital & Class 80: 77–94.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  55. ———. 2003b. “‘Who fears to speak’: fear, mobility, and ethno-sectarianism in the two ‘Ardoynes’”. The Global Review of Ethnopolitics 3(1): 76–91.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  56. Shirlow, Peter and Colin Coulter. 2014. “Northern Ireland: 20 years after the cease-fires”. Studies in Conflict & Terrorism 37(9): 713–719.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  57. Smyth, Jim, ed. 2017. Remembering the troubles: contesting the recent past in Northern Ireland. University of Notre Dame Press.Google Scholar
  58. Smyth, Lisa and Martina McKnight. 2010. “The everyday dynamics of Belfast’s ‘Neutral’ city centre: maternal perspectives”. Divided Cities/Contested States Working Paper 15: 1–29.Google Scholar
  59. Soja, Edward W. 2010. Seeking spatial justice. University of Minnesota Press.Google Scholar
  60. Sterrett, Ken, Mark Hackett and Declan Hill. 2011. “Agitating for a design and regeneration agenda in a post-conflict city: the case of Belfast”. The Journal of Architecture 16(1): 99–119.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  61. ———. 2012. “The social consequences of broken urban structures: a case study of Belfast”. Journal of Transport Geography 21: 49–61.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  62. Throgmorton, James. 2004. “Where was the wall then? Where is it now?”. Planning Theory & Practice 5(3): 349–365.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  63. Walker, Brian M. 2012. A political history of the two Irelands. Palgrave Macmillan.Google Scholar
  64. Wiener, Ron. 1976. The rape & plunder of the Shankill: community action, the Belfast experience. Farset Co-operative Press.Google Scholar
  65. Zukin, Sharon. 2010. Naked city: the death and life of authentic urban places. Oxford University Press.Google Scholar

Copyright information

© The Author(s) 2020

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of Political ScienceLund UniversityLundSweden

Personalised recommendations