At its heart, the Northern Ireland problem concerns the constitutional and political fate of territory in dispute between the Irish and British states. Reluctantly but from necessity, the two governments must now face the implications of that fact. If there has been any progress during the last decade of violence, it has come in the form of a better understanding of the political and constitutional issues by both governments and peoples. No longer is the situation presented as exclusively one of archaic religious animosity between Protestants and Catholics still fighting the religious wars of the seventeenth century. Nor do the psychological theories that interpret community divisions between majority and minority as simple prejudice enjoy the currency they once did. The problem is now correctly interpreted as a highly complex conflict of identities and nationalisms which implicates both states in its genesis and in its possible resolution.
Human Rights and Political Resolution in Northern Ireland,
Yale J. Int'l L.
Available at: http://digitalcommons.law.yale.edu/yjil/vol9/iss1/9