The Long Peace Process

BookThe Long Peace Process

The Long Peace Process

The United States of America and Northern Ireland, 1960-2008


September 6th, 2019

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This book examines the role of the United States of America in the Northern Ireland conflict and peace process. It begins by looking at how US figures engaged with Northern Ireland, as well as the wider issue of Irish partition, in the years before the outbreak of what became known as the ‘Troubles’. From there, it considers early interventions on the part of Congressional figures such as Senator Edward Kennedy and the Congressional hearings on Northern Ireland that took place in the aftermath of Bloody Sunday, 1972. The author then analyses the causes and consequences of the State Department decision to ban the sale of weapons to the Royal Ulster Constabulary, before considering the development of the US role in Northern Ireland through the Reagan administration and the onset of US financial support for conflict resolution in the form of the International Fund for Ireland. The study concludes by assessing the dynamics behind the role that President Clinton assumed following his election in 1992 and examining how Presidents Bush and Obama attempted to capitalize on the momentum of the 1998 Good Friday Agreement.


‘A major contribution to the literature on the US role in the Northern Ireland conflict. Elegantly written and factually accurate, it provides valuable new insights into some of the key aspects of American presidential involvement in the "Troubles". With penetrating analysis and ground-breaking research from sources on both sides of the Atlantic, this is a compelling book that will appeal to both academics and general readers.'
Professor Andrew Wilson, Loyola University Chicago

The Long Peace Process succeeds in demonstrating that the U.S. government had substantial engagement with Northern Ireland from the beginning of the Troubles. Furthermore, it shows that this relationship was dynamic, complicated by contrasting personalities within the U.S. government, as well as scrutiny from the British and Irish governments.'
Melissa Baird, Irish Historical Studies

Author Information

Andrew Sanders is Assistant Professor of Political Science at Texas A&M University San Antonio.

Table of Contents

Table of Contents
Section TitlePagePrice
List of Abbreviations7
1. The USA and Ireland before 196819
2. The Early Years of the ‘Troubles’41
3. Jimmy Carter and the Presidential Statement on Northern Ireland103
4. Thatcher, Reagan, and Northern Ireland151
5. The Bush Administration and Northern Ireland as a Local Political Issue197
6. Bill Clinton and the Path to Good Friday219
7. George W. Bush, Barack Obama, and Post-Conflict Northern Ireland271
Select Bibliography301