Lessons from Northern Ireland: Rise above the fatalism generated by your own “sui generis” conflict…

H/T Mary FitzGerald on Twitter… This is a fairly impressive array of academic, political and government voices which looks at what lessons might be drawn from our much feted Peace Process, recorded in May last year…

YouTube video

Most worthy of note are Jonathan Powell (keep hard power on so the insurgents cannot get comfortable, but offer a political process towards a solution); Bairbre de Brun who notes that peace relies on addressing the causes of the conflict, not just the absence of war; and Roger McGinty who feels the main narratives of the peace process were laid down with indecent haste.

And near the end, Paul Arthur (from whom we hear far too little these days) notes that despite the general disavowal of the idea that there are lessons to be learned from Northern Ireland, we took from the South African process the need for sufficient consensus.

He also highlights the use of technical committees to process sticking ponits that politicians would have otherwise baulked at and the third is that parties may realise it is more dangerous to be outside the process than inside.

Finally notes that the determination to view any given conflict as purely sui generis  arises largely from a fatalism generated by the fact of the conflict itself. He goes as far to say you will never get out of your conflict if you cannot rise above that fatalism.