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Ann-Sofi Jakobsson Hatay

Abstract

European integration is held to be one major element in the development of peace and prosperity in post-war Europe. (Neo-)functional integration is also often held up as a model to be emulated in other situations of violent conflict, including ethnic conflicts. After an analysis of the posited mechanisms between integration and peace, this assumption is first examined in the light of one particular instance of ethnic conflict, that of Northern Ireland. It is argued that the main contribution of the European integration process to the settlement efforts was to help improve interstate relations between the United Kingdom and the Republic of Ireland. In a subsequent analysis of the Cyprus case, it is concluded that the prospect of EU membership has as of  yet failed to contribute positively to the settlement efforts. Finally, the implications of these findings for integration theory and ethnic conflict resolution are extrapolated.

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