Creativity, cohesion and the ‘post-conflict’ society: A policy agenda (Illustrated from the case of Northern Ireland)
Taylor & Francis Group
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The intertwining of economic crises and political violence has been an ongoing narrative for Northern Ireland over the past four decades. However, with the end of ‘The Troubles’ and the transition to what has been termed a ‘post-conflict’ society (i.e. one in which the violence has largely ceased but its legacy remains), what is an appropriate agenda for economic development? To this end, we consider the current context in Northern Ireland in terms of cohesion, diversity and inclusion, and the implications therein of present policies. The geography of creative individuals within Northern Ireland is reviewed, and found to be particularly polarized within Belfast. That the highest areas of present deprivation are typically found in those most affected by past conflict suggests failures of policy since the ‘Good Friday’ Agreement of 1998. If economic growth, tolerance and diversity are linked, then all stakeholders must address these issues. Northern Ireland should neither be seen as a ‘normal’ lagging region nor one into which a standard neo-liberal development agenda can be transplanted free of context. At present, social cohesion appears to be regarded as an outcome of economic prosperity rather than as a factor that might actually drive it.
European Planning Studies;
Clifton, N. and Macaulay, T. (2015) 'Creativity, cohesion and the ‘post-conflict’ society: A policy agenda (Illustrated from the case of Northern Ireland)', European Planning Studies, 23 (12), pp. 2370-2389
This article was published in European Planning Studies on 19 November 2015 (online) The final published version is available at http://dx.doi.org/10.1080/09654313.2015.1103993
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