Crossing the Border
This timely book provides the first sustained examination of cross-border relationships since the momentous sequence of events that began with the Good Friday agreement of 1998. It looks at changing patterns of North-South relations in three broad domains: politics and public administration, the economy, and civil society. Specific topics covered include the cross-border implementation bodies, the island economy, the voluntary sector, education, health, planning, public policy, and the EU. The book draws on findings from a two-year research project embracing a large, multi-disciplinary team based in Dublin, Belfast, Dundalk, and Armagh. The book also sets recent changes in perspective, outlining the evolution of cross-border relationships between partition in 1920 and the recent comprehensive settlement, and exploring the extent to which leaders North and South remained in denial about the evolving impact and implications of the border until the closing decades of the 20th century. The authors demonstrate how the search for a settlement in Northern Ireland has created a new dynamic in cross-border relationships, underlining the critical importance of these relationships in sustaining the peace process. In a trenchant assessment of future prospects, the book stresses the extent to which new North-South relationships have been dependent on external funding from the EU and the US. It argues that the diminution of these funds potentially threatens the sustainability of successful cross-border programs, putting the onus on the two governments to develop a more coherent and strategic approach to cross-border co-operation.
Publication Date: 11/15/2007