Since 1989 a community relations programme has been undertaken by Northern Ireland's local authorities. The programme is based upon ‘contact’ between the two communities, with the aim of improving mutual understanding and respect for different cultural traditions. Similar ‘encounter’ programmes have been in operation over a longer period in Israel. This article traces the theoretical underpinnings for such contact schemes, describes the background to, implementation of and types of projects involved in the Northern Ireland initiative. In the light of evaluative research evidence on the Arab/Israeli encounter programmes, it offers an assessment of the community relations programme within the context of Northern Ireland.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Geography, Planning and Development
- Political Science and International Relations