Conflict resolution processes towards ending ethno-nationalist conflicts: a comparative analysis of the Northern Irish and Turkey’s Kurdish peace processes

Kadioglu, Ibrahim Aytac (2017) Conflict resolution processes towards ending ethno-nationalist conflicts: a comparative analysis of the Northern Irish and Turkey’s Kurdish peace processes. PhD thesis, University of Nottingham.

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This thesis analyses conflict resolution efforts between states, sub-state armed groups and independent third parties during the explicitly ethno-nationalist conflicts in Northern Ireland and Turkey. It considers that a predominantly armed response by states towards terrorist groups is an inadequate method for ending ethno-nationalist conflicts. It argues that exploring ethno-nationalist groups who use violence as a tactic to pursue their political goals, provide a better approach to understanding non-violent, political resolution attempts. However, the existing literature has paid relatively little attention to political attempts to bring their violent campaigns to an end. The thesis aims to close this gap through a comparative analysis of the Northern Irish conflict conducted by the Irish Republican Army (IRA), and the Kurdish conflict conducted by the Kurdistan Workers’ Party (Partiya Karkerên Kurdistan) as these conflicts have similar ethnic and territorial issues, armed campaigns, political attempts and peace processes. The Northern Irish conflict reached an agreement, but the Kurdish conflict has not. The reasons for the different outcomes are assessed by concentrating on a specific timeframe that is between the beginning of peace efforts and a peace agreement (or the failure of a peace process). The period involves the term between the emergence of the Provisional IRA and so the beginning of the ‘Troubles’ in 1969 and the Good Friday Agreement (GFA) of 1998 for the Northern Irish conflict. The conflict in Turkey is examined from 1984 to 2015 since the latest conflict resolution efforts collapsed and violence returned in July 2015.

The thesis argues that ethno-nationalist conflicts are too complicated to be brought to an end solely through official negotiations. Therefore, it suggests a more comprehensive framework which begins at the pre-negotiation stage through secret contacts of the main armed protagonists and the initiatives of peace organisations which are pursued along with negotiations between the political parties and independent third parties at the negotiation stage. It investigates these two stages of conflict resolution processes through three major aspects: backchannel communications, peace and conflict resolution organisations, and official negotiations. These three aspects focus on the roles of political parties, government officials, opposition leaders, the IRA and PKK, and their political wings and intermediaries. This thesis recommends that a peace agreement between states and opposition parties, consisting of sub-state armed groups and their political wings, requires the mediation of an independent third party. It argues that a conflict resolution process may encourage conflicting sides to consider talks and to enter into a negotiation process at the pre-negotiation stage. The process then supports reaching a peace agreement at the negotiation stage.

Item Type: Thesis (University of Nottingham only) (PhD)
Supervisors: Mumford, Andrew
Rees, Wyn
Faculties/Schools: UK Campuses > Faculty of Social Sciences, Law and Education > School of Politics and International Relations
Item ID: 43211
Depositing User: KADIOGLU, IBRAHIM
Date Deposited: 04 Aug 2017 08:35
Last Modified: 19 Jul 2022 04:30

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