The Institute of Irish Studies, University of Liverpool, is delighted to mark the launch of Dr Elizabeth DeYoung's book Power, Politics and Territory in the ‘New Northern Ireland’ with this event co-hosted with the Heseltine Institute, University of Liverpool. The launch will take the form of a conversation between Dr DeYoung and Dr Eleonore Perrin, chaired by Sue Jarvis, Co-Director of the Heseltine Institute. The launch will conclude with a book signing during which refreshments will be served.
Power, Politics and Territory in the ‘New Northern Ireland’ - Girdwood Barracks and the Story of the Peace Process (Liverpool University Press)
In the wake of the Good Friday Agreement, the redevelopment of the former Girdwood Army Barracks in North Belfast was hailed as a ‘symbol of hope’ for Northern Ireland. It was a major investment in a former conflict zone and an internationally significant peacebuilding project.
Instead of adhering to the tenets of the Agreement, sectarianism dominated the regeneration agenda. Throughout the process, politicians, community groups and paramilitaries wrangled over the site’s future, and territorial contest won out over housing need. After eleven years of negotiation and £11.7 million, the EU-funded Girdwood Community Hub opened its doors to the public in 2016, but its impact has been underwhelming.
The Hub’s redevelopment is a microcosm of the peace process itself, and the ways in which post-Agreement politics have failed to deliver a ‘shared future’ for the people of Northern Ireland, twenty-five years on. This ethnography provides a lively account of Girdwood’s redevelopment and a wry critique of the fractious political context around it. Through flânerie and encounter, the author brings us across peace walls, into community meetings and behind the scenes of decision-making in Northern Ireland. Girdwood’s story also sheds light on how power, politics and territory intersect in divided cities globally.
The book is out now as hardback or ebook: https://www.liverpooluniversitypress.co.uk/doi/book/10.3828/9781837644674
Dr Elizabeth DeYoung is a Research Scientist and lecturer at the University of Pennsylvania. She co-leads research initiatives on basic income at a national scale at the university’s Center for Guaranteed Income Research. Prior to her appointment at the Center, Dr. DeYoung was awarded a Mellon/ACLS Public Postdoctoral Fellowship, and led social policy research initiatives at Reinvestment Fund in Philadelphia.
She earned a PhD at the Institute of Irish Studies, University of Liverpool, where her doctoral work focused on post-conflict politics and planning in Northern Ireland. She also received an MA in Irish Studies from Queen University Belfast and a BA in International Affairs and Modern Languages from Northeastern University. Dr. DeYoung has authored several peer-reviewed publications, policy briefs and white papers, along with her first book with Liverpool University Press.