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Devolution and the governance of Northern Ireland

Hardcover - 01 February 2011
Knox, Colin (Author)
Rp 3,782,000
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This book offers the first account of what the First Minister, Peter Robinson, describes as the most settled period of devolution in Northern Ireland for almost forty years. It traces the tortuous path to devolved government, the political instability which constantly threatened the institutions, and since May 2007 the bedding down of devolution and its impact so far on the people of Northern Ireland.

The book parallels accounts of devolved government in Scotland and Wales. For years Northern Ireland has been the subject of academic enquiry relating to political, constitutional and security issues. Now as a post-conflict society political parties which for years engaged in the politics of antagonism must now redirect their efforts to delivering public policies that will improve the quality of people's daily lives. This has not come easily to them. This book is therefore the first study which looks at devolved power sharing governance arrangements in Northern Ireland and a sequel to Derek Birrell's book Direct Rule and the Governance of Northern Ireland. Manchester: Manchester University Press (2009)

The book contains chapters on the key governance institutions: the civil service, local government, non-departmental public bodies, and the vibrant third sector in Northern Ireland. It examines in some detail the major review of public administration ongoing since 2002 and the more recent public services modernising agenda. Importantly, given the sectarian divisions which have segregated every aspect of life in Northern Ireland, the book asks the key question whether it is possible to reconcile the two communities or are they destined to live 'separate but equal' lives. Finally, the book considers topical issues which are at the early stages of implementation: community planning and central-local relations.

This book will be of interest to students of devolution across the UK and beyond. It will also be relevant for those researchers working in the area of post-conflict societies.

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