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Democracy and Northern Ireland

Beyond the Liberal Paradigm?

Democracy and Northern Ireland by Adrian Little
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Northern Ireland has witnessed considerable change in the last ten years, most notably with the signing of the Belfast Agreement in 1998. Strangely, political theorists have contributed little to the ensuing debates on these developments. Democracy and Northern Ireland examines recent events in Northern Irish politics from the standpoint of democratic theory. It analyzes the dominant interpretations of democracy such as political liberalism, multi-culturalism, and deliberative democracy, and finds them unsatisfactory in dealing with the complexities of Northern Irish Politics. Adrian Little contends that, despite some limitations, civil society theory and feminism offer more pertinent understandings of democracy.
Building on these approaches, Little suggests that we need to develop a more radical democratic position which recognizes the nature of antagonism in Northern Ireland and engenders a 'conflictual consensus'.
Palgrave Macmillan; March 2004
221 pages; ISBN 9780230511668
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Title: Democracy and Northern Ireland
Author: Adrian Little