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Northern IrelandThe Reluctant Peace$
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Feargal Cochrane

Print publication date: 2013

Print ISBN-13: 9780300178708

Published to Yale Scholarship Online: October 2013

DOI: 10.12987/yale/9780300178708.001.0001

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Bringing the Outside in: The International Dimension, 1995–98

Bringing the Outside in: The International Dimension, 1995–98

(p.147) Chapter Six Bringing the Outside in: The International Dimension, 1995–98
Northern Ireland

Feargal Cochrane

Yale University Press

This chapter discusses the role of the United States government in encouraging the peace process in Northern Ireland. The evolution of the United States from passive observer of political violence in Northern Ireland to active participant in the efforts to end it was critical to the peace process. The United States provided the dynamic for change that altered the internal balance of power and the context within which the conflict took place. While Clinton built on the work of others, he was committed to the efforts to secure an IRA ceasefire—and beyond that to the formal negotiations themselves from 1996 to 1998. The internationalization of the conflict altered the context and internal power structures in a way that facilitated political change. The Clinton administration also encouraged the unionist and loyalist community to engage with it, and slowly won respect within that constituency for its efforts to make a positive contribution to peace.

Keywords:   peace process, political violence, negotiations, internationalization, Clinton administration

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