Summary of lecture of: Dr Revenant Gary Mason, The Center for conflict transformation in Belfast, Ireland

The conflict in Ireland lasted for over a 100 years.

Gary lived through at least 30 of it, 1960 – 1990 apx

The population of Northern Ireland is 1.5 million people.

There are 3 types of peace processes:

  1. Sri Lanka- a military peace process
  2. South Africa – colonial changes. Not a win-win situation for all sides.
  3. The good Friday agreement in Ireland – win- win situation

Humiliation is terrorism!!!

People make choices in a geographical context.

Why leaders choose political violence?! -Politicians have a short-term vision. What we should aspire towards is: long term legacy society agreement.

The challenges of the Good Friday Agreement:

  1. Prisoners release
  2. Reform the police
  3. Decommission of weapons

Social peace process means:

  1. Telling the truth and reconciliation
  2. New forms of memory work
  3. Words are really important
  4. Words of healing

(words, not machines, that created Auschwitz)

There are 3 ways to resolve a conflict:

  1. Genocide – annihilation
  2. Random victims, on occasion
  3. Peace making and negotiation

Stopping the cycle of violence have passed from generation to generation.

What women are bringing to the table?!

  • Being the voice of sanity, in different situations, in various places and locations in the public space.
  • Peace processes are definitely more just, when women are present. This have been proven academically.
  • While men fighters sit and negotiate, they are aiming for a military solution, women bring true care for society on issues like health, education and people.
  • Women create a more sustainable peace solution.

Life is a series of 100 chances, you only need to take one.  (Under the Tuscan Sun)

The three biggest conflicts of the 20iest century are:

Northern Ireland

South Africa

Israel – Palestine

We are living in the most unstable region in the world.

The only way to find out if we have a partner, is to engage with the partner.

Take risks.

Have uncomfortable conversations.

In Ireland, women were the social glue, that kept the society together (before the end of the conflict). The women coalition had softened the right-hand politicians and brought compassion, which was absolutely crucial.

The hunger strikes of 1981, as part of the military struggle, led to the realization for the need to move towards political agreement.

Always remember: dehumanization leads to Genocide.

Seeing the totality of life which isn’t about national identity. There is no secured solution to our conflict, but the totality of life is beyond that.

The role of mediators in negotiation:

We cannot resolve it on our own, therefore, there os a need for a third party to be involved.


It is a painful process. It is a long process, and it comes at the end and not at the beginning,