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Truth Recovery in Northern IrelandCritically Interpreting the Past$
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Kirk Simpson

Print publication date: 2009

Print ISBN-13: 9780719078620

Published to Manchester Scholarship Online: July 2012

DOI: 10.7228/manchester/9780719078620.001.0001

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(p.123) 6 Conclusion
Truth Recovery in Northern Ireland

Kirk Simpson

Manchester University Press

The Northern Irish conflict, as an illustrative example of a wider phenomenon in transitional contexts, highlights the refusal of many post-conflict societies to face up to the legacy of political violence and suffering. This chapter provides an explanation of why dealing with the past is such a complex but necessary historical odyssey and examines the importance of communicatively rational transitional justice in Northern Ireland. This chapter refreshes the book's main thesis, addressing what the core features of effectively and critically interpreting the past in Northern Ireland are, and suggesting that the ideas outlined in this book—communicative justice—are a potential answer to the crises. In particular, this conclusion refocuses on the important contribution that the unique Habermasian model of truth recovery can make to Northern Ireland's emergence from a long period of brutal conflict.

Keywords:   Northern Irish conflict, post-conflict societies, political violence, rational transitional justice, communicative justice, Habermas model

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