This website was created as a student project by myself, Liam Hodges, of the University of South Alabama as part of a graduate-level course on war termination and digital history offered by Dr. Mara Kozelsky. The goal of the project is to study historical cases of conflict resolution and war termination and examine their lessons for political science applications of war termination. The findings of these studies would then be presented as a website, created through WordPress.
I chose to study the process of weapons decommissioning in Northern Ireland for several reasons. Not only is it a very recent example of conflict resolution, but it is also a somewhat unique example of a long-duration armed civil conflict that was successfully terminated. The issue of disarming non-government militants is one many governments may face in the future, and important lessons can be learned from the Northern Irish example. For this website, I have drawn from both primary source material and secondary sources to show how the decommissioning issue fit with the broader peace process, the challenges it posed, and how it was eventually resolved. Studying the weapons decommissioning instituted by the Good Friday Agreement in Northern Ireland provides a unique and valuable case study in the subject of war termination. In addition, this topic also provides a good case study to compare with recent literature on the subject of war termination written by both historians and political scientists on issues such as civil conflict, terrorism, and multi-party negotiations.
With the benefit of increased time since the end of the conflict and newer approaches in conflict termination theory, a new perspective may be found not just on the peace process in Ireland but also present lessons for other conflicts as well. By utilizing a website format, this information can be delivered to a wider audience and hopefully be of use for anyone studying the Troubles or war termination.