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Community Development and Peace Walls in Northern Ireland

Harris, Bailee
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Northern Ireland is a divided society with scars left unaddressed by their 1998 peace process. The most visible scars left are the Peace Walls- physical walls reinforced up to three-stories tall, designed to keep Protestant and Catholic communities apart. Peace Walls should be addressed because they create security, health, and community relations concerns. Current strategies to address these issues have failed because the communities have not been empowered to create their own solutions. Using the rural studies concept, Contiguous Community Development (CCD) offers a way to empower leaders and create collaborations between communities. CCD is a four step process consisting of: 1) exposure to new ideas, 2) people internalizing the desire to learn from each other, understand a problem and the need to address it while envisioning a better future, 3) organic organization growth, and 4) integration of development in the community and development of the community. CCD is a model that activates community connections and fosters cooperation in a community by addressing specific community problems. The government in Northern Ireland has not been functioning for the past two years, and as a result, interface communities have little to no trust in the government, but still enjoy a connection to local leadership. CCD should be used in the absence of the government to promote community-led solutions to Peace Walls because they are linked spaces with unique community concerns.
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University of Wyoming. Libraries