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Mediation in Northern Ireland: Mitchell's Success or the Luck of the Irish.

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Master's thesis,

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On Good Friday, 10 April 1998 eight of the ten largest political parties in Northern Ireland and the British and Irish governments concluded twenty two months of grueling negotiations and signed The Good Friday Agreement. This treaty put in place an historic opportunity for the people of Northern Ireland to turn away from the sectarian violence that had plagued, traumatized and terrorized them for the past 30 years of the troubles. It offered them hope that in the future they would be able to use politics instead of guns and bombs to settle their differences. Many outstanding men and women participated in the negotiations and demonstrated great personal and political courage in an environment charged with powerful emotions. The leaders of the largest Protestant and Catholic political parties, David Trimble and John Hume, even received the Nobel Peace Prize for their efforts to bring peace to their homeland. In the eye of the storm of these intense negotiations stood an outsider former United States Senate Majority Leader George Mitchell. Invited by the British and Irish governments, Mitchell served as the chairman of the negotiations. In this masters thesis I will focus my research on Senator Mitchells role in order to assess the extent to which his personal performance as chairman of the negotiations led to its successful conclusion the Good Friday Agreement. Specifically, I will answer the question to what extent do the international actions of private mediation by former United States Senator George Mitchell bear responsibility for the fruits of the 1998 Good Friday Agreement and the general peace process in Northern Ireland

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  • Government and Political Science

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