Date of Award

Spring 6-3-2016

Document Type

Honors Project

University Scholars Director

Dr. Jeff Keuss

First Advisor/Committee Member

Dr. Don Holsinger

Second Advisor/Committee Member

Dr. David Nienhuis


Northern Ireland, South Africa, reconciliation, peace negotiations, conflict resolution, contact theory


This paper is a critical analysis of two case studies that serve several purposes. One, it familiarizes the reader who may have a cursory understanding of the historical events involving the peace processes in Northern Ireland and South Africa during the 1990s with the narratives of conflict and peace that occurred in these countries during this time. It also analyzes the distinction between a peaceful resolution of conflict and reconciliation, making the claim that within instances of conflict, positive and sustained contact is essential to moving beyond a peaceful resolution of conflict towards reconciliation. In this way, this work adds to the body of research surrounding the topic of reconciliation and the role of contact theory within it.


A project submitted in partial fulfillment of the requirements of the University Scholars Program


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