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SIT Transformation of Social and Political Conflict
Dublin, Ireland
Program Terms: Fall,

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Homepage: Click to visit
Program Sponsor: SIT/World Learning 
Fact Sheet:
Mininum GPA: 2.5 Class Status: 02-Sophomore, 03-Junior, 04-Senior
 Academic Areas:
Anthropology, Celtic/Irish Studies, Independent Study, Peace and Conflict Studies, Political Science, Public Administration, Sociology
 Language of Instruction:
 Program Type:
Study Abroad
 Housing Options:
Program Description:

Free Derry

Explore the changing face of conflict studies in Ireland as the country deals with globalization, European integration, immigration, and economic revitalization. No longer isolated, the Republic of Ireland and Northern Ireland present opportunities to examine the impact of conflict in political and sociocultural arenas from local, national, and international perspectives.

Through the holistic lens of conflict transformation, and working with practitioners of mediation and negotiation, students explore contemporary Irish issues from both sides of the island. In the North, the struggle focuses on rebuilding civil society and creating an inclusive political process after years of sectarianism and political violence. In the Republic, the struggle is with urbanization, the environment, multiculturalism, and the creation of new sustainable communities. Regardless of setting, the challenges stretch traditional notions of identity and culture.

Conflict from Micro to Macro
This multi-dimensional program provides a comprehensive opportunity to engage in conflict study through its focus on the whole island of Ireland. Given its history, size, and the current rate of socio-economic change, Ireland presents a concentrated forum in which to study the critical issues facing both first and third world countries. The program requires students to approach conflict studies at all levels from micro to macro. They develop an understanding of the theory and practice of conflict, and are challenged to engage at a personal as well as intellectual level.

First-Hand Accounts
Through visiting organizations for survivors of trauma or ex-political prisoners, students hear stories of personal trauma and loss sustained through the years of the Troubles. These first hand accounts provide insight into the consequences of violence and the resilience of the human spirit. These stories also provide perspective into the complexities of conflict resolution and the difficulties of building a lasting peace.

Diverse Range of Meetings
In the Republic of Ireland, students meet with representatives from the various spheres of policy-making, government, and community and political activism.  Representatives of political parties address the group and answer questions on both the political process in Northern Ireland and their party platforms. Most representatives are prominent public figures who are influential in their parties. Some have made the transition from "terrorist" to politician

Influential community activists and leaders provide insight into local issues and how they contribute to the larger conflict. In Northern Ireland, students meet with people in both Republican/Catholic and Loyalist/Protestant neighborhoods. Meetings at the sessions enable students to meet perpetrators and victims on both sides of the divide, where they begin to understand that there are no heroes or villains in this story, just different degrees of loss.

Students meet with the members of recently re-formed Police Service of Northern Ireland and develop some empathy for the beleaguered service when they visit one of the heavily fortified police stations in London/Derry and handle the weaponry and protective gear necessitated by riot conditions.


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