Managing a peace process: an interview with Jonathan Powell

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This is an extended interview with Jonathan Powell, former Chief of Staff for the Blair government from 1997 to 2007, about the Northern Ireland peace process and the negotiations and talks which led to the Good Friday Agreement of 1998 and a power-sharing Assembly led by the Democratic Unionist Party (DUP) and Sinn Fin in 2007. The interview seeks to reveal what Powell and the British considered as key motivations and intentions in the peace process, such as choreography, momentum and ambiguity, as well as bring to light other perhaps less acknowledged but equally important factors, such as inter-personal relations and trust. The interview is necessarily wide-ranging in order to highlight the extent of considerations which came into play in order to keep the peace process on track. As such, it serves as a useful point of reference for further studies about the politics of conflict management and transformation, inviting us to think about the importance of individual forces at work, but within a context of multiple influences and pressures.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)437-455
Number of pages19
JournalIrish Political Studies
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - 2010


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