Template for peace

Northern Ireland, 1972–75

By Shaun McDaid

Template for peace


  • Hardcover
  • eBook
  • eBook

Book Information

  • Format: Paperback
  • ISBN: 978-0-7190-9976-2
  • Pages: 224
  • Publisher: Manchester University Press
  • Price: £15.99
  • Published Date: February 2016
  • BIC Category: Politics, Politics & government, Peace studies & conflict resolution, POLITICAL SCIENCE / Peace, Northern Ireland, Society & social sciences / Politics & government, Reference, information & interdisciplinary subjects / Peace studies & conflict resolution


This study is available in paperback for the first time. At no time in Northern Ireland's history did so many significant political initiatives occur as between 1972 and 1975, the most violent and polarised years of the region's conflict.

Using archival sources, this book analyses the political events and processes that informed the British government's Northern Ireland policy at the time, the complex interactions between Northern Ireland political parties, and the importance of the British-Irish diplomatic relationship to the search for a solution to the Northern Ireland conflict.

Focusing on the rise and fall of the power-sharing Executive and the Sunningdale Agreement, the book challenges a number of persistent myths, including those concerning the role of the Irish government in the Northern Ireland conflict. It contests the notion that the years 1972 to 1975 represent a 'lost peace process', but demonstrates that the policies established during this period provided the template for Northern Ireland's current, ongoing peace settlement.


'Shaun McDaid's detailed, thorough and well-researched book on northern politics in the early 1970s is based heavily on the archival riches now available in Belfast, London and Dublin. It also draws admirably on wide reading beyond these sources, and it reaches some helpful judgements on this turbulent, short era . McDaid makes a major contribution to our precise grasp of the details of these years . It is a fascinating book, and a welcome addition to the shelves.'

Professor Richard English, Handa Centre for the Study of Terrorism and Political Violence, University of St Andrews (Irish Historical Studies, Nov. 2014).
, Huddersfield Daily Examiner, 4 September 2013|'McDaid presents us with a more nuanced account of the events surrounding the failed executive . He shows how the basic principles of Sunningdale - consent, power-sharing and the Irish dimension formed the basis of the current peace process . [but] quite rightly rejects the 'Sunningdale for slow learners' adage because of the levels of violence that existed and because of the fact that the paramilitaries on both sides were excluded from Sunningdale.'

- Dr Martin McCleery, Queen's University Belfast (Irish Political Studies, Feb. 2015). |McDaid provides a comprehensive assessment of the position of several different parties in terms of political, social and economic policies through archival research. His book is recommended to researchers who work on the Northern Ireland peace process as it provides background information on the resolution efforts between the British and Irish governments and political parties., L Aytac Kadioglu, University of Nottingham, Political Studies Review, 1 August 2015


1. From direct rule to power-sharing, 1972-1974
2. The security problem
3. The Sunningdale Council of Ireland
4. Social and economic policy and the Executive in office
5. The UWC strike and its aftermath
6. Government policy after the UWC strike and British-Irish relations, 1974-75


Shaun McDaid is a Research Fellow at the Centre for Research in the Social Sciences at University of Huddersfield

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