NI Governance

On this page, you will find all the work we are doing relating to governance issues specific to Northern Ireland in the 21st century. Brexit contributes to the current issues in NI governance, but other governance matters - UK-specific or Northern Ireland-specific - are relatively independent of Brexit issues and instead are the consequence of multilevel governance.

Workshop Participants Sought

The Performing Identities research team will be soon holding workshops that will build an understanding of what it means to be Northern Irish. At the workshops we will explore lots of different ideas on identity so we are looking for people from any background who are prepared to discuss this. The workshops will feed into research and creative materials and you will have a say in what the most useful materials are, and how you would like them to be designed.

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Project Fieldwork Begins

One strand of the ESRC funded research we are undertaking involves interview and focus group research within Northern Ireland. The research is designed to be participatory and allow participants a central role in the design of the questions, the way they are answered, and the outcomes of the project.

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ICON Conference

The research team attended and presented at the ICON Society (UK and Ireland) conference hosted by the University of Strathclyde. The papers presented were titled:

de Mars, ‘Making it (Even) More Complex: Plucking Trade from its Nest’

Murray, ‘Futureland: Northern Ireland after Brexit’

O’Donoghue, ‘Life after Brexit: Referenda, International Law and Unifying Ireland?’

Warwick, ‘Disappearing Rights under the Draft EU-UK Withdrawal Agreement’

They will find their way into written and published form shortly!

Briefing Document: Human Rights reform and Northern Ireland.

Discussion of the repeal of the UK Human Rights Act has intensified following the election. The Act is a complex instrument, and there would be significant implications flowing from its repeal.

Northern Ireland has a particularly important relationship with the Human Rights Act and the European Convention on Human Rights (ECHR). The Good Friday Agreement (a key part of the Northern Irish peace process) enshrined a fundamental role for the ECHR in moderating the values of plurality and equality in the ‘new’ Northern Ireland.

Unpicking the terms of the Good Friday Agreement is unwise. Human rights protections were not an ‘add on’ to the peace processes but were a central feature of the reconciliation.

Beyond the effects upon the people of Northern Ireland, there are potential implications for the UK’s relationship with Ireland. The Good Friday Agreement is (at least in part) a contract between the British and Irish states. The interests of the Republic of Ireland in human rights protections in Northern Ireland should also be respected.

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