In this talk, Kaplan-Kelley will workshop some ideas from fieldwork in Northern Ireland that has been impacted by COVID19. While the coronavirus has challenged work logistically, recent events have also served as an opportunity to understand how the Northern Ireland Assembly is functioning in uncharted areas of governance. In January the Assembly began operation after a 3 year shut-down and political parties agreed to new forms of power-sharing with a new commitment to peacebuilding in a document called "New Decade New Approach" (which focused on extending previous peace agreements after "The Troubles" a sectarian and political conflict that is still remembered by acutely by society). With the outbreak of the virus, questions of government survival are ongoing and whether the current model of leadership will hold is particularly urgent. Kelley argues that COVID 19 has shown how important the Northern Ireland Assembly is as a symbol of peace in Northern Ireland but power-sharing still remains an arrangement that threatens to break down all recent forms of progress. This workshops will help articulate these ideas better and also provide insight into how ethnographic fieldwork is being reconfigured under lockdown.



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