The Nelson A. Rockefeller Center for Public Policy and the Social Sciences

PBPL 85: Global Policy Leadership Travels to Northern Ireland

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After a great final week in Northern Ireland, the PBPL 85 participants are back in the USA. The final few days in Belfast were a frenetic combination of meetings, side trips to the remarkable Irish coast, and a final push to complete the memo on lessons from the Northern Ireland peace process that could be applied to other sectarian conflicts around the world.

 

 

PBPL 85 students make time to visit the stunning Giants Causeway on the north coast of Northern Ireland.

Our very last meeting was with Brandon Hamber, director of the International Conflict Research Institute (INCORE) at the University of Ulster in Belfast. Professor Hamber has worked on transitional justice issues in places ranging from South Africa to Bosnia. Our conversation with him underscored one of the fundamental issues related to the ongoing peace and reconciliation process in Northern Ireland and post-conflict areas: How does a society strike a balance between dispensing justice for past misdeeds and offering immunity to facilitate moving forward? Or, more succinctly, what must be remembered and what is best forgotten?

 

 

 

 

PBPL 85 students feverishly work to finish their final report.

The students incorporated the content of this meeting and others into their final collective report on lessons from Northern Ireland. Despite all the last-minute work to finish the memo, the group did make time to visit the stunning Giants Causeway on the north coast of Northern Ireland. (The HBO series “Game of Thrones” is filmed in this area.)

 

 

 

 

The group celebrates the completion of the final report. 

The final memo was e-mailed to Professor Wheelan roughly three minutes before the group boarded the return flight to Boston.

-PBPL 85 Course Participants: Nicholas Zehner, David Wylie, Fiona Weeks, Heather Szilagyi, Kevin Schorr, Noah Reichblum, Summer Modelfino, Zachary Markovich, Alexandra Dudding, Ayesha Dholakia, Ester Cross, and David Brooks.

 

 

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