In the last generation, Northern Ireland has undergone a tortuous yet remarkable process of social and political change. This collection of essays aims to capture the complex and shifting realities of a society in the process of transition from war to peace.
The book brings together commentators from a range of academic backgrounds and political perspectives. As well as focusing upon those political divisions and disputes that are most readily associated with Northern Ireland, it provides a rather broader focus than is conventionally found in books on the region. It examines the cultural identities and cultural practices that are essential to the formation and understanding of Northern Irish society but are neglected in academic analyses of the six counties.
While the contributors often approach issues from rather different angles, they share a common conviction of the need to challenge the self-serving simplifications and choreographed optimism that frequently define both official discourse and media commentary on Northern Ireland. Taken together, the essays offer a comprehensive and critical account of a troubled society in the throes of change.