Political scientist Timothy J. White will present “Lessons from the Northern Ireland Peace Process,” a lecture based on his recent book of the same name published by the University of Wisconsin Press in 2013, at noon Friday, Oct. 3, in the auditorium of O’Shaughnessy Educational Center on the St. Paul campus of the University of St. Thomas.
The event, free and open to the public, is presented by the university’s Center for Irish Studies. Co-sponsors are the departments of Political Science, Theology, and Justice and Peace Studies.
This year marks the 20th anniversary of the ceasefires that proved essential to the ultimate success of the Northern Irish peace process, which culminated with the Good Friday Agreement in 1998.
“Peace processes are journeys,” White has written, “and it takes time for parties to forget enough of the past to envision a different future.”
White believes there are at least eight clear takeaways from the Northern Irish experience. These include being as inclusive as possible in organizing negotiations; guaranteeing security for all invited parties; and holding to a strategy of supporting moderates and marginalizing spoilers.
The success of the peace process in Northern Ireland, though unique in many particulars, has nonetheless “led Americans and others to believe they can play a positive role in mediating seemingly intractable conflicts in other parts of the world,” according to White.
A professor of political science at Xavier University in Cincinnati, White is the author of more than 45 scholarly articles and book chapters on politics in the Republic of Ireland and in Northern Ireland. He has appeared in such publications as New Hibernia Review, Irish Journal of Sociology, Irish Studies in International Affairs, Éire-Ireland, International Studies Perspectives and Peace Review.
He has won grants from the Irish American Cultural Institute, the Friendly Sons of St. Patrick Foundation, the Moore Institute of the National University of Ireland-Galway, the Political Studies Association of Ireland and others. White has been named by the Irish Voice as one of the top 100 Irish educators in the United States and has been nominated for the Carnegie National Teacher of the Year Award.