Trust as a Compromise Mediator in Northern Ireland’s Victim Support Groups

  • Laura K. Graham
Part of the Palgrave Studies in Compromise after Conflict book series (PSCAC)


Trust is an extremely difficult social practice for deeply divided societies and those emerging from conflict. It is, however, a necessary practice for building relationships between former enemies and developing social cohesion in post-conflict settings. Where social trust can be developed between different identity groups, social capital and better community relations may result. Northern Ireland’s victim support groups serve as a prime example of how trust acts as a compromise mediator in social networks of post-conflict societies. In this chapter, I demonstrate how trust acts both as a barrier and as a facilitator of building social capital and improving relationships between the two communities of Northern Ireland. Based on the findings from my study of victim support group leaders in Northern Ireland, I show how trust, as a compromise mediator, is practised in victim support groups. With the additional data from victims in Northern Ireland, I investigate whether victims and their leaders have similar attitudes toward social trust. Finally, I conclude with some observations about the relationship between trust and social capital in victim groups.


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Copyright information

© The Author(s) 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  • Laura K. Graham
    • 1
  1. 1.Trinity CollegeDublinIreland

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