Liberty, Equality and the Rights of Cultures: The Marching Controversy at Drumcree

Shane O'Neill

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


    This article offers a normative-theoretical assessment of a key aspect of the continuing cultural conflict in Northern Ireland. The marching controversy at Drumcree has had a destabilising effect on the peace process and it represents a serious threat to the achievement of the kind of political accommodation outlined in the Good Friday Agreement. The aim is to apply Jürgen Habermas's discourse theory of rights to this dispute so as to assess which, if any, of the conflicting claims should take priority. By seeking to assess the rational acceptability of the better arguments on either side, I reject the view that these claims are irreconcilable. In the concluding section I outline four principles that provide a normative basis for just resolutions to conflicts over contentious marches in Northern Ireland.
    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)26-45
    Number of pages20
    JournalBritish Journal of Politics & International Relations
    Issue number1
    Publication statusPublished - Apr 2000


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