Shared Society or Benign Apartheid?: Understanding by John Nagle

By John Nagle

This e-book analyses the position energy sharing, social activities, monetary regeneration, city house, memorialisation and emblems play in reworking divided societies into shared peaceable ones. It explains why a few tasks are counterproductive whereas others support peace-building.

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Additional info for Shared Society or Benign Apartheid?: Understanding Peace-Building in Divided Societies

Sample text

It is from this point we can engage in crosscommunity dialogue and, for some proponents of multiculturalism, this can transform identities: it elaborates ‘a vision of commonalities, of what is shared across difference, and through remaking citizenship and national identity’ (Modood 2007: 64–65). Despite the optimism of proponents regarding multiculturalism’s capacity to ameliorate ethno-national conflict, critics counter that it 36 Shared Society or Benign Apartheid? provides no shared vision for society; in fact, by recognizing the separateness of groups, the project legitimates the ‘Balkanization’ of society leading groups into ‘ethnic fiefdoms’ (Kundnani 2002).

In these societies, argues Shared Future, ‘individuals are reduced to simple group stereotypes, which easily turn into enemy images. Those who exploit difference can then widen communal divisions’ (OFMDFM 2005: 7). ‘The underlying difficulty’ with Northern Ireland, Shared Future opines, ‘is a culture of intolerance’ (OFMDFM 2005: 7). By reducing conflict to the power of ‘intolerance’, Shared Future fails to adequately examine why particular types of multiethnic societies are characterized by intercultural dialogue and why other societies display pervasive mistrust and animosity.

In assessing peace-building processes, we distinguish between conflict management, conflict transformation and conflict resolution. Conflict management can be defined as ‘the attempt to contain, limit, or direct the effects of an ongoing ethnic conflict’ (Wolff 2006: 134). A transformation in actors’ perceptions of their interests (that they are better off pursuing their Nostrums and Palliatives: Exploring a Shared Society 21 interests through political, as opposed to violent, means) may lead to their participation in conflict management structures.

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