Northern Ireland Archive



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Date of Film





Subject/ Interviewee

Paul Arthur

Video characteristics

Paul Arthur lectures from the front of a classroom where he sits, stands, and walks around as he talks. The tape occasionally sticks for a moment before starting up again and there appear to be slight gaps in the tape at points, although this does not interfere with the continuity of the lecture. There are a row of seats in front of the camera that block the lower part of the screen at times. Lighting and sound are good and the tape is clear, although his slight accent makes it advisable to read the transcript while watching the tape.

Topics covered

This tape gives a conceptual framework for understanding Northern Irish politics. In one sense the tape as a primer to those who would try to understand Northern Irish politics is perhaps more abstract than newcomers can make sense of, it is valuable because it tells in general tems why things do not work and never have worked in this country. We would like there to be easy solutions to the conflicts in Northern Ireland and this tape tells us that for resolution to happen people would have to be able to work together, negotiate, and accept that opposite partners in conflictual relationships have valid points of view and group interests that must be acknowledged and satisfied for the society to move forward. This kind of understanding and negotiating not only fail to occur in Northern Ireland but people involved in politics seem to lack the skills necessary for society-wide politics to function in an effective way. That is the message of this tape.

Paul Arthur Politics of the Troubles Part 1


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