Conflict and Consensus

A study of values and attitudes in the Republic of Ireland and Northern Ireland


This study presents a detailed comparison of cultural values and attitudes in the Republic of Ireland and Northern Ireland. It is based on survey data covering the period from the 1970s to 2003 but focusing especially on the European Values Study (EVS) as fielded in the two parts of Ireland in 1999-2000. The study confirms the deep divisions in identity and political allegiance that separate the Catholic and Protestant communities in Northern Ireland. But it also shows that on many issues, Protestants and Catholics on the island of Ireland are culturally more similar to each other than to any other national population in Europe, including Britain.

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Tony Fahey, Ph.D. (1982) in Sociology, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, USA, is Research Professor in the Economic and Social Research Institute, Dublin.
Bernadette C. Hayes, Ph.D. (1986) in Sociology, University of Calgary, Canada, is Professor of Sociology, University of Aberdeen, Scotland.
Richard Sinnott, Ph.D. (1984) in Political Science, Georgetown University, is Director of the Public Opinion and Political Behaviour Research Programme at the Geary Institute, University College Dublin.
"This study is both important and timely. It develops a theoretical framework for the empirical comparison of the complex value patterns in Ireland, North and South, and demonstrates the great importance of the two ethno-national traditions for social and political conflict. However, it also finds elements of a value consensus in other areas such as the family and sexual morality, and a higher level of confidence in political institutions in both the Republic of Ireland and Northern Ireland than elsewhere in Europe. These results come as an encouragement for citizens and politicians alike to carry on with the process of peaceful development. The book is a must for all interested in value research and in Ireland." – Hans-Dieter Klingemann, Wissenschaftszentrum Berlin für Sozialforschung (WZB) / Social Science Research Centre, Berlin
"This book makes splendid use of a wide range of survey research on attitudes to major issues in both societies on the island of Ireland. The systematic comparison of attitudes and values between the Republic and Northern Ireland and between both of these and a wide range of European societies is particularly valuable and is a major contribution to the literature." – Anthony Heath, Nuffield College, Oxford
"This is a magisterial work on the social and political values of the New Ireland, by three of the country's best social scientists. It is required reading for anyone interested in the social dynamics of Ireland, North and South." – Ian McAllister, Australian National University
Those interested in the study of contemporary Ireland, north and south, and in ethnic conflict, religious studies, and values and attitudes in Europe today.