Class Year


Document Type

Student Research Paper

Date of Creation

Spring 2023

Department 1

Globalization Studies

Department 2

International Affairs


The Troubles were a difficult and trying time for Northern Ireland beginning in the 1960s. The subsequent decades were filled with turmoil and violence, mainly centered in Belfast amongst the Protestant and Catholic groups. In 1998, peaceful means to ending the Troubles were accomplished through the Good Friday Agreement. The accord established peace primarily through implementing a new power sharing government, ending direct rule by the British, disarming the paramilitary groups and creating a soft border between Ireland and Northern Ireland. The European Union was a critical asset in negotiating terms for peace. The aid of the European Union helped unite the governments in Dublin, Belfast, and London through not only a common set of policies and political space but through the mutual identity of Europeans. The co-cooperation all came to a crashing halt when the United Kingdom voted to leave the EU in 2016 without regard for Northern Ireland. Brexit poses a major threat to the maintenance of peace in Northern Ireland and goes against the principles laid out in the Good Friday Agreement. Long-term instability has persisted in Northern Ireland ever since, resulting in a renewal of sectarian violence on the one hand and calls for Irish unity on the other. However, it ultimately remains unclear what the outcome will be in this precarious situation. This paper addresses the complexities associated with Brexit in Northern Ireland and long term effects politically, religiously, and economically.


Written for IGS-400: International & Global Studies Capstone.

Creative Commons License

Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License.