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Theories of International Relations and Northern Ireland$
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Timothy J. White

Print publication date: 2017

Print ISBN-13: 9781784995287

Published to Manchester Scholarship Online: September 2017

DOI: 10.7228/manchester/9781784995287.001.0001

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PRINTED FROM MANCHESTER SCHOLARSHIP ONLINE (www.manchester.universitypressscholarship.com). (c) Copyright Manchester University Press, 2020. All Rights Reserved. An individual user may print out a PDF of a single chapter of a monograph in MSO for personal use.date: 12 July 2020

Assessing the importance of ideas and agency in the Northern Ireland peace process

Assessing the importance of ideas and agency in the Northern Ireland peace process

Chapter:
(p.74) 4 Assessing the importance of ideas and agency in the Northern Ireland peace process
Source:
Theories of International Relations and Northern Ireland
Author(s):

P. J. McLoughlin

Publisher:
Manchester University Press
DOI:10.7228/manchester/9781784995287.003.0005

This chapter examines the importance of ideas and agency in the Northern Ireland peace process by focusing on the former leader of the SDLP and joint Nobel Peace Prize Winner, John Hume. Hume was one of the most important and long-standing elites in Northern Ireland conflict. He emerged first as a civil rights leader at the outset of the Troubles, was a founding member of the SDLP, and was central to the negotiations that led to the Good Friday Agreement. Moreover, Hume played a unique dual role in his career. First, he was a political thinker, or perhaps more accurately an articulator, of a new approach to the Northern Ireland problem. Second, Hume was a key negotiator and political broker, most significantly helping to persuade militant republicans to adopt a peaceful political strategy, continually engaging with British and Irish political elites, and even guiding external actors like the US government and the EU in their respective inputs to the Northern Ireland peace process.

Keywords:   Ideas, Agency, John Hume, SDLP, Northern Ireland, Dual Role

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