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Economic Aid and Conflict Transformation in Northern Ireland and the Border Area: Respondents’ Perceptions of Awareness, Fairness, Trust Building, and Sustainability
Peace and Conflict Studies
  • Peter Karari, University of Manitoba
  • Sean Byrne, University of Manitoba
  • Olga Skarlato, University of Manitoba
  • Kawser Ahmed, University of Manitoba
Abstract
Intractable ethnopolitical conflicts emanate from the social, political, cultural, and economic marginalization of some community groups. To address these conflicts, the affected groups are often provided with life changing opportunities to enhance justice, equality, dignity and freedom. In the past, Northern Ireland has been a turbulent sea of violent conflict between Unionists and Nationalists. To address the underlying root causes of the conflict, economic aid through the International Fund for Ireland (IFI) and the European Union (EU) Peace II Fund is aimed at facilitating sustainable peacebuilding, reconciliation and community development. In this study, 95 community group leaders, civil servants, and community development officers in Derry, Belfast and the Border Area were interviewed to explore their perceptions about the impact of economic aid in terms of fairness of the application criteria, awareness of both funds, trust building and sustainability. The findings inform future conflict transformation interventions geared towards sustainable peacebuilding, reconciliation and community development in Northern Ireland.
Author Bio(s)

Peter Karari is a PACS PhD student at the Mauro Centre for Peace and Justice, St. Paul’s College, University of Manitoba. His areas of interest include: ethnopolitical violence, transitional justice, peacebuilding and human rights. His doctoral research is on ethnopolitical violence, transitional justice, and peacebuilding in Kenya. He earned a Bachelor in Social Work from the University of Nairobi in Kenya and a Masters in PACS from Otto-von Guericke University in Magdeburg Germany. Email: karari_mp@yahoo.com

Sean Byrne is Professor and Director of the PhD and Joint MA Programs in Peace and Conflict Studies (PACS), and Executive Director, Arthur V. Mauro Centre for Peace and Justice, St. Paul’s College, University of Manitoba. His current research interests include: ethnic conflict resolution, economic aid and peacebuilding in protracted ethnic conflict, children and war, women and peacebuilding, and third party intervention. Email: byrnejj@ms.umanitoba.ca

Olga Skarlato is a PACS PhD candidate at the Mauro Centre for Peace and Justice, St. Paul’s College, University of Manitoba. Skarlato earned a BA and an MA degree in North American Studies from the School of International Relations, St. Petersburg State University, Russia. Skarlato also studied and worked in Germany, the USA and Canada doing research on environmental conflict resolution and prevention, human security and international economic development. Email: olyaskar@yahoo.com

Lieutenant Colonel (Retd) Kawser Ahmed is a PACS PhD student at the Mauro Centre for Peace and Justice, St. Paul’s College, University of Manitoba. His research interest is in Faith Based Organisations and peacebuilding. He earned an M.Phil. degree in PACS from the University of Dhaka Bangladesh. He is also a graduate of the Defence Services Command and Staff College, Bangladesh and he has served in the Bangladesh army’s UN peacekeeping mission in western Sahara. He is also an alumnus of the National Defence University, Washington D.C. Email: kawser3891@yahoo.com

Publication Date
5-1-2012
Citation Information
Peter Karari, Sean Byrne, Olga Skarlato and Kawser Ahmed. "Economic Aid and Conflict Transformation in Northern Ireland and the Border Area: Respondents’ Perceptions of Awareness, Fairness, Trust Building, and Sustainability" (2012) p. 4 - 35
Available at: http://works.bepress.com/kawser_ahmed/2/