“This volume is a model of lucidity and clarity and a joy to read. Although the particular case study is well known, Smith brings many new insights through an extensive trawl of the archives in London, Dublin, and Belfast, and in his use of private interviews.”
Paul Arthur, University of Ulster

“This is an excellent study of a crucial period of British policy towards Northern Ireland. The author has done a very good job in searching the archives and producing a clear and coherent narrative in a detail that has not been matched before. This book is a useful addition to the literature on the Northern Ireland conflict because it is informed by a close understanding of the historical evidence and an acute knowledge of how the British and Irish political systems work.”
Paul Dixon, Kingston University

“A highly intelligent, systematic, and original argument about a vitally important subject.”
Richard English, University of St. Andrews

“Bill Smith provides us with a unique insight into the use of policy responses by states in managing and resolving violent political conflicts while placing his sharp lens on the unintended consequences of these policy responses. In using a range of case studies from Northern Ireland, dealing with policing, justice, and governance, the author shows how policymakers need to focus on ‘the context’ for their decisions and be more aware of the choices they make. There are tools here which will help ‘peace technicians’ heighten their awareness of the policymaking context. You will find solid evidence of what works and what does not in the policymakers’ world when dealing with violent political conflict.”
Monica McWilliams, Northern Ireland Human Rights Commission

“This is an intelligent and impressive book, with a wealth of detail. Applying useful models from political science, Smith’s book is clear and cogent––a very accurate monograph which adds to our knowledge of the formative years of the Northern Ireland conflict. The book is admirably objective and few policy actors are spared criticism.”
Jon Tonge, University of Liverpool


Latest Publications

After Bashir, A New Dawn in Sudan? (Part 1)

After Bashir, A New Dawn in Sudan? (Part 1)

Wednesday, April 17, 2019

By: Susan Stigant; Elizabeth Murray

Longtime Sudanese dictator Omar al-Bashir was ousted last Thursday, 30 years after he took power in the same fashion he was overthrown: by a military coup. The military takeover was spurred by months of popular protests over rising food prices, economic mismanagement and demands...

Democracy & Governance

Myanmar’s 2020 Elections and Conflict Dynamics

Myanmar’s 2020 Elections and Conflict Dynamics

Monday, April 15, 2019

By: Mary Callahan; Myo Zaw Oo

In late 2020, Myanmar will hold a general election for more than a thousand seats in Union, state, and regional legislative bodies. The next year and a half will also see two high-level, conflict-laden processes capture domestic and international attention—the 21st Century Panglong peace conference and possible attempts to repatriate Rohingya refugees. This report evaluates the environment in which the peace process, Rohingya repatriation, and the election intersect and identifies opportunities for mitigating conflict in the run-up to the election.

Electoral Violence; Democracy & Governance; Peace Processes

Q&A: Libya’s Sudden New Risk of War

Q&A: Libya’s Sudden New Risk of War

Friday, April 12, 2019

By: Nathaniel L. Wilson; USIP Staff

Just as the United Nations was preparing to host a national conference in Libya this month to arrange for national elections to unify the country’s fractured governance, the faction that dominates the country’s east, the Libyan National Army, launched a military offensive last week on the capital, Tripoli. With the past week’s fighting, “the likelihood is greater than at any point since 2014 for destructive and bloody conflict” of an uncertain duration and outcome, according to Nate Wilson, who manages USIP programs in Libya. Wilson monitors Libya from neighboring Tunisia while working with Libyan officials, researchers on projects to inform international policymakers, and with local Libyan groups that work to reconcile disputes and build a foundation for national peacemaking. In response to questions, he discussed what’s at stake in the new fighting, and how the international community might respond.

Conflict Analysis & Prevention

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