“Lessons from Northern Ireland” in Israeli Public Discourse: The Politics of Analogies in Conflicted Societies

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Abstract

The Northern Ireland 1998 Good Friday Agreement has generated a global industry of “lessons from Northern Ireland” to other conflict situations. While a lively polemical literature has been debating what exactly should these lessons be and whether they could be validly exported, this article adopts the prism of the “politics of comparison”: examining why and how certain actors appeal to analogies with other societies, and the causes and functions of such appeals. The article explores the case-study of the resonance of the Northern Ireland analogy in Israeli public discourse. It identifies and analyses four themes: the analogy with Northern Ireland is used as an argument for hope; as a source of peacemaking models; as self-justification, to deflect blame; and to legitimize narrow local interventions. The article contributes to literatures on the politics of comparisons, and political dynamics in the context of intractable conflicts.

Original languageEnglish
JournalPolitical Studies
DOIs
StateAccepted/In press - 1 Jan 2022

Keywords

  • Israel
  • Northern Ireland
  • analogies
  • conflicts
  • politics of comparison

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Sociology and Political Science

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