Striking a balance: The Northern Ireland peace process
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Harry Barnes and Gary Kent provide an account of the peace process between the beginning of 1996 – at which point little progress had been made in finding an agreed basis for inclusive talks despite the sustained ceasefires – and the beginning of all-party talks in 1997, noting in particular the impetus provided by the elections in the UK and the Republic of Ireland earlier that year.

Sinn Féin did very well in the Forum elections [reflecting] a widespread desire among many Catholic voters to boost what was seen as the peace faction within the republican movement.

Harry Barnes and Gary Kent