Volume 28, Issue 2, 2018
Ane Cristina Figueiredo, Calum Dean, Sean Byrne
Local People’s Perceptions of Social Justice and Community Building in Northern Ireland
This article examines the perceptions and experiences of 120 participants interviewed in Northern Ireland and the Border Counties in 2010 regarding community peacebuilding, and the future of community-based projects. The respondents shared their thoughts on the projects and program initiatives funded by the European Union Peace and Reconciliation or Peace III Fund and the International Fund for Ireland. They discussed the impacts of external aid on the community peacebuilding process as well as the long-term sustainability of projects. This study explores the narratives of community leaders and program development officers from Derry and the Border Counties. The findings emphasize that while the participants noted that the external aid contributed to promoting community peacebuilding, there is a lot more to be addressed in terms of cross-community interaction. Additionally, there is an uncertainty regarding the sustainability of many project initiatives once the funds end. As a result of such insecurity, there is a concern regarding the stability of peace in the region.