It has been 20 years since the historic Good Friday Peace Agreement in Northern Ireland. Much has changed for the better since then, but with the looming Brexit decision, concern about the viability of the peace accords has returned. In commemoration of the 1998 peace agreement and its implications for conflict resolution, the Olive Tree Initiative, the UCI Center for Citizen Peacebuilding, and the Chapman University Peace Studies Program have organized a two day conference discussing what we have learned from the Northern Ireland peace negotiations and its relevance and application to the unfolding Brexit situation as well as to possible post-peace processes for other conflicts around the world. Toward that end, a panel of experts and practitioners have been assembled who were involved in implementing and maintaining the 1998 peace accords and/or have studied the accords and their implications.  The agenda for the two-day symposium, with reference to the panelists, are outlined below:

Sunday, February 25th
7:30pm - 9:30pm
Fish Interfaith Center, Chapman University

“What can we learn from the Northern Ireland Peace Process,” conversation with Professor Paul Arthur (University of Ulster) and another guest from Northern Ireland, with clips from the new documentary "In the Name of Peace: John Hume in America.” The conversation will focus on the history of the Troubles and the Peace Process in Northern Ireland, and also address lessons learned for the situation that may be applicable to other conflicts around the world today. 

ABOUT THE DOCUMENTARY: In the Name of Peace: John Hume in America/ is a compelling feature documentary, narrated by Liam Neeson, with dramatic footage from the conflict in Northern Ireland and stirring accounts by Presidents Bill Clinton and Jimmy Carter as well as US Congressmen and Senators. This film shows how one man with courage and charisma, inspired by Martin Luther King, mobilized Irish Americans and America to bring an end to years of bloody violence in his homeland. With musical score by Bill Whelan (/Riverdance/), this beautiful film reminds us of the redemptive powers of politics to overcome hatred and division: in the words of Hume's fellow Derryman, Seamus Heaney, when, ‘once in a lifetime, the longed-for tidal wave of justice can rise up, and hope and history rhyme’. At a time of great world instability, this is a timely film highlighting creative leadership and the need for steady international co-operation.

Monday, February 26th
12:00pm - 1:00pm
Emerald Bay AB, UCI Student Center (reservation required )
“Conversation with Sociology Professor Bill Rolsten (University of Ulster) about the murals in Norther Ireland,” 

1:30pm - 2:30pm
Viewpoint Gallery (next to Crystal Cover Auditorium), UCI:  "Pictorial exhibition, in partnership with UCI Illuminations and the Campus Climate Council, of the Murals in Northern Ireland", with Professor Bill Rolston (University of Ulster) 

3:00pm - 5:00pm
SBSG 1517
Panel discussion on “The Legacy of the Northern Ireland Peace Process and Transitional Justice,” featuring Professor Paul Arthur (University of Ulster), Professor Bill Rolston (University of Ulster), Rev. Gary Mason (from Belfast), and Professor Nevin Aiken (University of Wyoming)  to discuss the legacy of the Northern Ireland Troubles and Peace Process and the issue of Transitional Justice. The panel discussion will be moderated by Professor David Snow (UCI).

6:00pm - 9:00pm
Pacific Ballroom D, UCI Student Center
“Citizen Peacebuilding and the Northern Ireland Peace Process,” featuring our guests from Northern Ireland (Arthur, Rolston, and Mason) who will highlight their personal stories of citizen peacebuilding, along with film-clips of a conversation with film-maker Maurice H. Fitzpatrick about the documentary "In the Name of Peace: John Hume in America " and its relevance to the divided and volatile political situation in America today. *

connect with us


© UC Irvine School of Social Sciences - 3151 Social Sciences Plaza, Irvine, CA 92697-5100 - 949.824.2766