Devolution and the associated mechanisms of governance-a power-sharing Executive, elected assembly, cross-border bodies, a reformed system of public administration and civic engagement -are a part of the wider mosaic of peace-building. Their implementation is an attempt to institutionalize stability and copper-fasten a political settlement. This article outlines the changing governmental arrangements existing within Northern Ireland, as it has shifted tentatively away from direct rule. It maps the wider public sector in Northern Ireland, including civil administration (chiefly the Northern Ireland Civil Service), an extended mosaic of nondepartmental public bodies (NDPBs) and other public agencies that, together with local government, form a complex, multi-layered, subregional governance. Our contention is that the manner in which the administration of Northern Ireland has been conducted yields fruitful insights into issues of territorial management in other areas afflicted by intractable constitutional wrangles and attendant violence. In short, an agreed system of governance is integral to the transition from conflict to peace (or at least stability) and, in the case of Northern Ireland, was central to the substance of the Belfast Agreement, characterized by a power-sharing Executive.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Sociology and Political Science
- Political Science and International Relations