The Conflict as a Set of Problems
On 1 September 1994, the Provisional Irish Republican Army (PIRA) declared a ‘complete cessation of military operations’. As I write this in September 1994 the equivalent loyalist paramilitary groupings are considering their position. All the current evidence however suggests that, after 25 years of violence, the sounds of guns and bombs are about to disappear from the streets of Northern Ireland. The overall impact of this change in economic and social terms is not easy to predict, but the effect of a cease-fire on the conflict — in its widest sense — requires careful analysis. To begin with, it is a defining characteristic of all internal conflicts that they are never completely solved. The cease-fire suggests that one facet has been, for the moment, resolved and it is probable that this will be followed by the emergence of new democratic structures and institutional forms.
KeywordsEurope Coherence Petrol Defend Ethos
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