Journal article

The Problems of Antagonism: Applying Liberal Political Theory in Northern Ireland


The British Journal of Politics and International Relations | Sage Publications | Published : 2003


In recent issues of the British Journal of Politics & International Relations a debate has developed between Shane O'Neill and Glen Newey on the role of liberal political theory in resolving conflicts in Northern Ireland. This article argues that the roots of this debate lie in the differing perceptions of the role of political theory that the two protagonists employ. It suggests that O'Neill's Habermasian approach relies on an abstract understanding of political legitimacy and an excessively legalistic approach to dealing with the conflicts that permeate politics in Northern Ireland. However, where Newey's critique focuses on the problems of conflicting rights as they emerge in O'Neill's th..

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University of Melbourne Researchers