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the Northern Ireland problem.  It should be recommended reading for all those genuinely interested in finding a solution that is rational, humane and enduring. It is also a model of the kind of analysis that such conflicts need if they are ever to be understood or resolved’.

Prof. Ian Lustick of the Univ. of Pennsylvania writes: ‘In Explaining Northern Ireland McGarry and O’Leary strip away the misconceptions, dogmas and stereotypes that have stood in the way of so many efforts to understand and resolve the fate of this region.  The authors write with wit and wisdom.  This is a must-read book for anyone who has despaired of peace in Northern Ireland or who believes it is right around the corner’.

Prof. Michael Keating of the Univ. Of Western Ontario writes: ‘This is a trenchant analyse and critique of the arguments around the Northern Ireland conflict.  McGarry and O’Leary slice their way through the tangle of argument, prejudice, history and propaganda which surround the issue, while avoiding the traps into which so many others have fallen.  They present a merciless critique of reductionist interpretations of the Northern Ireland issue from all parts of the political spectrum, continually bringing us back to the facts on the ground. This will be essential reading for anyone wishing to understand this tangled question’.


Professor Terry Eagleton of Oxford University describes Explaining Northern Ireland as an ‘eminently judicious, splendidly level-headed study...[McGarry and O’Leary’s] lucidity, thoroughness and formidable powers of analysis have put every student of the topic in their debt’, New Left Review, Fall, 1995: 130-136.

Professor Adrian Guelke of Queen’s University, Belfast writes: ‘This is the most important book to have been published on the Northern Ireland problem since the publication in 1990 of John Whyte’s magisterial survey of literature on the conflict, Interpreting Northern Ireland... Attention to empirical details is combined with incisive analysis, an attractive feature of which are its many flashes of wit… A mark of their command of the Northern Ireland problem, as well as of the soundness of their judgement, is that despite writing in a cautiously optimistic vein at an optimistic time, the recent breakdown in the peace process has in no way undermined their analysis’.

Dr Feargal Cochrane of Queen’s University, Belfast describes Explaining Northern Ireland as being ‘colourful, challenging and vigorous... extremely well written and accessible to both academic and general readerships...[and its deconstruction of Irish nationalism as being] well structured, intelligent, and reasoned, rather than reductionist, polemical and emotional’, Irish Political Studies, 1996, 183-84.

Professor Keith Jeffery of the Univ. Of Ulster writes that Explaining Northern Ireland is a ‘valuable addition to the canon of works on Northern Ireland’ and describes the commentary as ‘relentlessly incisive’, Times Literary Supplement, Sept. 29 1995.

Dr Chris Gilligan of Univ. of Salford writes: ‘Explaining Northern Ireland is methodical, measured, academic... [it] will undoubtedly become a core text for undergraduate and postgraduate courses on contemporary Northern Irish politics’, Political Studies, 44, 2,1996: 360.

Prof. Robert McKim of the University of Illinois writes ‘The deepest and most insightful analysis I have found [on Northern Ireland] is provided by John McGarry and Brendan O’Leary in Explaining Northern Ireland’, in R. McKim and Jeff McMahan eds., The Morality of Nationalism (New York: Oxford University Press, 1997: 273).

Dr. Jonathan Tonge of the University of Salford writes 'an outstanding scholarly work is provided by McGarry and O'Leary (1995). This goes further than the seminal study by Whyte (1990) in proposing solutions. The Politics of Antagonism (1996), by the same authors, is also an essential read, in Bill Jones et al Politics UK (Harlow: Pearson Education, 2001:651).

A State of Truce: Northern Ireland after Twenty-Five Years of War, Ethnic and Racial Studies, 1995, Special Issue. (edited with John McGarry)

Dan Keohane (Senior Lecturer, Keele Univ.) writes that ‘Readers of this special issue...will gain valuable insight into important changes in Ireland since the start of the present troubles [and that it] illuminates admirably many aspects of the conflict’, Times Higher Education Supplement Feb. 24, 1996: 38.

The Politics Of Antagonism: Understanding Northern Ireland, Athlone, 1993; 1996 2nd edition. With John McGarry.

Prof. Henry Patterson of the Univ. of Ulster writes: ‘This book seems set to establish them [the two authors] as significant influences, not only on the way Northern Ireland is taught in universities but on that small circle of politicians and civil servants involved in the formation of London's policies towards the region', Fortnight, March, 1993: 47.

Prof. W. Harvey Cox writes of The Politics of Antagonism: ‘Books like this show political science at its most necessary', Parliamentary Affairs, Vol. 47, 1, Jan. 1994: 144-45.

Prof. R.K. Carty (Univ. Of British Columbia) writes: 'In this thorough, balanced and careful book, O'Leary and McGarry provide an excellent scholarly account of the politics of Northern Ireland...anyone wanting an explanatory introduction to ethnic conflict in Northern Ireland ought to be directed to this book', Canadian Journal of Political Science, 1994, XXVII, 2: 32.

Prof. William Hazleton of Miami Univ. Ohio, says ‘O’Leary and McGarry marshal an impressive array of evidence in support of their ‘analytical’ history......The impact of the statistical charts, maps, and diagrams is truly staggering’, British Politics Group Newsletter, Winter 1995, p.11.

Professor Arthur Aughey of the Univ. Of Ulster writes: ‘intellectually impressive...sharp and unsentimental, informed and critical.  This book should be read and thought about’, Irish Political Studies, 1994.

Conor Ryan writes: ‘meticulous and scholarly...a valuable contribution to an important debate’, Tribune

Prof. Adrian Guelke writes: ‘covers an enormous amount of ground...an intelligently argued, lucidly written, and thoroughly worthwhile contribution to understanding Northern Ireland’, International Affairs, 69, No. 3. (Jul., 1993), pp. 599-600.

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