SCI are delighted to announce the publication of Public Policy, Philanthropy and Peacebuilding in Northern Ireland, written by Colin Knox and Dr Padraic Quirk.  This book examines the role played by the Atlantic Philanthropies, a limited-life foundation, in helping to build peace in Northern Ireland. Northern Ireland is referred to as a post-conflict society largely due to the absence of political violence and relatively stable political institutions.

Using detailed case studies the authors illustrate the role played by third sector groups in influencing the public policy agenda and securing long-term systemic changes. They also critique the work of Atlantic whose original mission moved from funding higher education on the island of Ireland to become a key foundation with a significant role in the peace process.

Colin Knox is Professor of Public Policy at Nazarbayev University in Kazakhstan and Emeritus Professor of Comparative Public Policy at Ulster University, UK.  Dr Padraic Quirk was the Country Director for the Atlantic Philanthropies in Northern Ireland until March 2015. He is now Deputy Director with the Social Change Initiative in Belfast.

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‘In this well-researched book, Knox and Quirk trace the influence of a key external stakeholder, Atlantic Philanthropies, on peace building in Northern Ireland.  The role played by this US-based philanthropic organization has helped the devolved government in Northern Ireland embed micro level initiatives in education, restorative justice, human rights and shared services.’

– John McGarry, Professor of Political Studies and Canada Research Chair in Nationalism and Democracy, Queen’s University, Canada

‘Knox and Quirk successfully combine academic disciplines of public policy, peacebuilding and philanthropic studies into a fascinating account of how Northern Ireland’s peace process has been strengthened through societal changes. This study deals with some of the most intractable problems in post-conflict Northern Ireland, offering lessons for other countries.’

– Professor Madhav Joshi, Kroc Institute for International Peace Studies, University of Notre Dame, USA

‘Knox and Quirk offer a unique and detailed study of the role played by voluntary and community sector organisations in the course of the peace process in Northern Ireland. This book captures the significant and largely undocumented contribution that the third sector played in supporting wider political developments with the aim of building equality and social justice.’

– Dr Avila Kilmurray, Director, Policy & Strategy, Global Fund for Community Foundations, Johannesburg and Belfast