What happens after a Citizens’ Assembly?

Internationally Ireland is seen as a beacon in the development of deliberative democracy. There has been plenty of positive hype (not least in international media coverage) about the outcomes of the 2018 abortion and 2015 marriage equality referendums that followed recommendations by the Irish Citizens’ Assembly (or CA, that operated between 2016-18) and Irish Constitutional…

Analysis of the abortion (8th amendment) referendum, May 2018

The long-anticipated referendum on repealing the 8th amendment, known by proponents and opponents alike at the time of its initial adoption as the ‘pro-life amendment’, has delivered a result widely and understandably described as ‘seismic’, ‘historic’ and ‘momentous’. In a high turnout (64%, second among standalone referendums only to the 1972 vote on EC entry…

Ending ‘truth friction’ in Northern Ireland’s culture war?

Guest post by Professor William J V Neill, Visiting Research Professor at the Institute of Irish Studies, Queen’s University Belfast and Emeritus Professor of Spatial Planning at the University of Aberdeen. In a recent article for the journal Parliamentary Affairs, Professor Peter Shirlow, Blair Chair at Liverpool University, sharply criticises the impoverished language game involved…