The scholars still cannot come to the conclusion aboutthe factors that are intrinsic for the power-sharing practice to be successful.
Lijphart (2002) defines power-sharing as the situation when the representativesof all main groups of the country take part in the process of politicaldecision making, specifically at the executive level. Nowadays Northern Irelandsuccessfully applies power-sharing but this has come at the price of decades ofwars, political confusion, tensions between social groups and human casualties.The confrontation of two main political forces in the face of the RepublicanParty of the Northern Ireland and Loyalist Party of Northern Ireland causedgrave consequences for the country. This conflict had also a religious tinge asit could be characterized as the struggle of Catholics against Protestants. Nevertheless,at the end, the parties came to an agreement and signed the Good FridayAgreement in 1998 which promoted the power-sharing. One of the main aims ofthis paper is to find out the components that are needed for the effectivepower-sharing.
Furthermore, I will try to analyze the core factors such aspolitical, religious and ethnic conflicts, civil war and British interventionin order to establish their impact on the course of events in Northern Irelandand realize why the first attempt of power-sharing practice failed while thesecond one succeeded. There are some variables such as the interest of GreatBritain, the interest of the Republic of Ireland, the complexity of theconflict between the Republicans and Loyalists which can have an impact on thecase. The paper suggests two hypotheses which are:1) The first attempt of power-sharing failed becauseof the absence of support from the parties.2) The first attempt of power-sharing failed as therewere not appropriate conditions for its success. Methodology During this research, Iwill use the methods of synthesis, systematic and comparative analysis in orderto check the veracity of the suggested hypotheses.
Besides, I will try to applythe consociational theory to this case. . Moreover, it willexamine the most important variables such as political, religious and ethnicconflicts, civil war as the consequence and British intervention, and estimatetheir impact on the course of events in Northern Ireland.
I will scrutinize the books and articles of prominentscholars regarding this issue and analyze their arguments to get the answer tothe posed question. Moreover, I will examine the similar cases with suchproblems in the history (Sri Lanka case, for example) to see what happened inthose cases and find out whether there were differences in the course ofactions and what would be the potential outcomes of their application to thecase of Northern Ireland. I will also find the information regarding thepractice of power-sharing in other countries such as Netherlands, Belgium, andSri Lanka in order to make conclusions about its effectiveness and compare itto the situation that took place in Northern Ireland. The paper will consist ofthree parts. In the first part, I will focus on the description of The Troubleswhich include all the event that took place from 1968 until 1998. The secondpart will be the analysis part where I will describe the consociational theoryand apply it to the case of Northern Ireland. This part will also include theoverview of similar cases in the other countries of the world.
The third partwill be the conclusion part where I will draw the line and make theconclusions. There also will be information about the truthfulness of thesuggested hypotheses. The Troubles TheNorthern Ireland conflict also known as The Troubles started in 1968 and endedin 1998 with the signing of Good Friday Agreement, which was approved by tworeferendums.
During this period, the country was exposed to numerous skirmishesand a lot of innocent people suffered because of the clash of interests ofRepublicans and Loyalists. The main frictions of the parties of the conflictwere regarding the constitutional status of Northern Ireland. Republicanswanted Northern Ireland to leave the United Kingdom and reunite with theRepublic of Ireland while the representatives of the Loyalist party the vastmajority of which were British supported the idea of remaining as a part of theUnited Kingdom. However, it is pertinent to mention that their frictions didnot arise out of nowhere. So, in order to understand the genuine causes of TheTroubles we need to steep in the history of the Irish nation and analyze theevents that preceded the beginning of the conflict. Startingfrom the Middle Ages Ireland became dependent on Britain and in the beginningof the 16th century British government commenced confiscation of lands fromIrish people and passing them to English colonists. The gradual growth ofEnglish population that resulted in ousting of Irish language and the landpolicy of British government caused dissatisfaction of Irish landlords which,in turn, led to the numerous insurrections.
In the middle of 19th century, theattitude of people against English deteriorated again because of the annulmentof the Corn Laws and famine. However, after several uprisings, the struggleceased for a long period of time and the situation became stable.