Economics and Peacemaking: Northern Ireland

This study examines the economic dimension of the peace process in Northern Ireland.

The main finding of the report is that economic disparity was a principal aggravating factor, e.g. in 1985, Catholic unemployment was 14% higher than Protestant unemployment and violence was high. By 2004 the gap had fallen to 3.5% and violence was low. It also evidences how public sector financial support underpinned the economy through the most difficult periods of conflict, private sector growth, supported by substantial foreign direct investment, was a key driver of increased employment and improved living standards and international mediation began around economic issues, becoming a platform for political settlement, with business organisations a key lobby for peace.