"Innovative, authoritative, and displaying scholarship of the highest quality –students and scholars will want to read this book –policymakers thinking of running a referendum as part of a peace process -should be forced to do so."—Feargal Cochrane, University of Kent
"Amaral’s work is rich with information on the negotiation and referendum processes in Cyprus and Northern Ireland, a topic that would be of interest to policy and decision makers, scholars of political science and international relations, and readers interested in conflict resolution and peacebuilding."—Ahmet Sözen, Eastern Mediterranean University, Famagusta, Cyprus
"To hold (or not) a referendum is undoubtedly one of the most consequential decisions in peace mediations. Amaral provides an extremely well-researched and theoretically nuanced analysis of peace referendums in Northern Ireland and Cyprus. The book sheds light on the merits and pitfalls of direct democracy in conflict-ridden and deeply divided societies and identifies the best practices for mediators to adjust their strategies and address the challenges of public consultation in contested peace processes."—Neophytos Loizides, Professor in International Conflict Analysis, University of Kent
"Making Peace with Referendums is extremely accessible while offering a rigorous and nuanced comparative analysis in support of its findings. This short and engaging analysis is a must-read for peace researchers and practitioners alike."—Irish Political Studies
"An extremely welcome addition to the field, and should be necessary reading for any parties responsible for designing peace agreements and scholars who study these."—Nationalism & Ethnic Politics Journal
"The book’s analysis is only strengthened by its form—simply organised, remarkably fluidly written, and concise. It is a valuable and distinctive addition to the peace process literature that deserves both scholarly and policy attention."—European Political Science
Referendums have become an undeniably important, and perhaps inescapable, peacemaking tool in contemporary peace processes. As such, understanding the ways in which referendum outcomes are shaped by peace negotiations is vital. Drawing upon two case studies, Amaral presents an empirically rich comparative analysis of the Annan Plan in Cyprus and the Good Friday Agreement in Northern Ireland. She examines the negotiations, offering new interview material with key political and civil figures involved in the peace negotiations and referendum campaigns in both cases. Amaral argues that referendums are unsuitable for traditional secretive and exclusionist peace negotiations that fail to engage and educate the public. They rather require inclusive negotiations that involve a broad spectrum of political stakeholders and civil society at the early stages of the process. This peacemaking approach can allow referendums to positively shape societies in conflict and be a crucial step toward lasting peace.
Joana Amaral is a research fellow at the Center for Conflict Studies at the University of Marburg in Germany.
5.5 x 8.5, 208 pages