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Maylis Konnecke


Northern Ireland and Lebanon

The area of research which my PhD draws on is conceptually driven by consociationalism and its impacts on religious political parties in societies which have experienced prolonged civil and sectarian conflicts. The study focuses on the Democratic Unionist Party (DUP) in Northern Ireland and the Lebanese Forces (LF) in Lebanon.

The research will be organised around two main issues which have driven the central question as outlined above:

  • How consociational arrangements impact specifically on religiously-oriented political parties.
  • How these parties seem to adopt a double posture torn between compromises and resistance.

I will be looking at the re-emergence of consociation in Northern Ireland and Lebanon. This includes the consociational settlement and the debate surrounding the Good Friday Agreement and the Taif Agreement. I will also focus on the external and internal factors influencing its application: foreign forces influence, elite behaviour, geographical divide and electoral issues. Also to be considered are the history of the DUP and the LF and the role played by religion in these two political parties. The research will ultimately tackle the influence of consociationalism on the DUP and the LF. It will explore the notions of compromise and resistance while analysing how hard-line political parties such as the DUP and the LF coexist with a system based on committed power-sharing and accommodation of rival communities.

Areas of Research
My research interests encompass the interaction between politics and religion, conflict regulation in divided societies and power-sharing theories.

Supervisors: Prof Beverley Milton-Edwards and Dr Cathal McCall