Theme: Public Policy | Content Type: Journal article

Free to read

The Future of Northern Ireland: the Role of the Belfast/Good Friday Agreement Institutions

Conor J. Kelly and Etain Tannam


Kaeli Hearn

| 1 min read

Since the 2016 Brexit referendum a series of crises has gripped Northern Ireland's politics. This has had a destabilising effect across society, which has arguably been felt most acutely by political unionism. The Belfast/Good Friday Agreement (B/GFA) of 1998 created a series of institutions to deal with political conflict in Northern Ireland, manage cross-border cooperation and normalise relations between the UK and Ireland. However, many aspects of it have been sparingly and ineffectually deployed, most notably the second and third strands dealing with north/south and east/west relations respectively. In this article, the authors argue that regular use of the institutional arrangements created by the Agreement would help to deal with the challenges currently facing Northern Ireland and help address unionist anxieties over the Protocol. Use of the North-South Ministerial Council (NSMC), the British Irish Council (BIC) and the British-Irish Intergovernmental Conference (BIIGC) should be prioritised. The unresolved issues arising from Brexit require a recommitment to the intergovernmental logic at the heart of the 1998 Agreement, despite the obstacles.

Read the full article on Wiley

Need help using Wiley? Click here for help using Wiley

  • CQI4MMyj_400x400.jpg

    Conor J. Kelly

    Conor J. Kelly is a PhD student at Birkbeck College, University of London and a Research Assistant at the Constitution Unit at University College London.

    Articles by Conor J. Kelly
  • rVvnJCXg_400x400.jpg

    Etain Tannam

    Etain Tannam is Associate Professor of International Peace Studies and Fellow of Trinity College Dublin.

    Articles by Etain Tannam
Volume 94, Issue 3

Latest Journal Issue

Volume 94, Issue 3

Includes a commentary by Colin Crouch on the dark heart of today's Conservative party, an article by Stewart Lansley tracing the history of ‘crowding out’, and its use as a justification for austerity and state deflation; and Tim Vlandas and Kate Alexander-Shaw debating the political economy of age. In our reports and surveys section, Deborah Mabbett asks where next for curbing London's emissions? The issue also includes a selection of book reviews such as Andrew Gamble on The Culture of Accountability: A Democratic Virtue by Gianfranco Pasquino and Riccardo Pelizzo, and Leila Simona Talani on Europe's Coming of Age by Loukas Tsoukalis.

Find out more about the latest issue of the journal