Not as simple as that: How leaders faced the challenges of pursuing the peace process in Northern Ireland

Nimrod Rosler*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

6 Scopus citations

Abstract

Leaders navigating their group away from an intractable conflict confront real and conceptual duality during the crucial stage of peace processes. This article offers a brief sociopsychological conceptualization of peace processes and of the role leaders play in this context in addressing deprived security and control needs, adapting collective beliefs and emotions, and mobilizing the group and coping with social polarization. Using the Northern Ireland peace process as a case study, it analyzes how leaders undertake these tasks. Based on a qualitative content analysis of speeches made by the leaders of both sides, we elucidate the distinctive themes used by Gerry Adams and David Trimble. The findings indicate the importance these leaders attached to addressing and being attentive to the needs and values of their group while taking divergent paths. Implications for sociopsychological aspects of conflict resolution and leadership are discussed.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)177-180
Number of pages4
JournalPeace and Conflict
Volume22
Issue number2
DOIs
StatePublished - 1 May 2016

Keywords

  • David trimble
  • Gerry adams
  • Leaders
  • Northern ireland
  • Peace process

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