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A Farewell to Arms? Beyond the Good Friday Agreement: second edition

Michael Cox|, Adrian Guelke, Fiona Stephen
Manchester University Press (February 2006)

The signing of the Good Friday Agreement in 1998 appeared to open up a new phase in the history of Northern Ireland and indeed world politics generally. Hailed from the outset as a model that would inspire peace processes in other countries, it sought through careful negotiation and delicate compromise to bring to a conclusion a conflict that had cost over 3,600 lives, damaged Britain's international position and at times come very close to undermining relations between the UK and Ireland. While the peace has held, it is obvious that serious divisions continue to make a final settlement of the Northern Irish question very difficult.

This comprehensive and original study is the first to explain in detail how the Good Friday Agreement ran into trouble, why we are still some way from a final settlement, but why a return to war is most unlikely - even in an age where global terror now threatens world order more seriously than at any time in the past.

  • Michael Cox is professor of international relations at LSE
  • Adrian Guelke is professor of comparative politics and director of the Centre for the Study of Ethnic Conflict at The Queen's University of Belfast
  • Fiona Stephen is currently completing a study on the politics of integrated education in Northern Ireland.