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The trouble with studying the Troubles: how and why an epistemic community emerges

Jentry, Corey (2017) The trouble with studying the Troubles: how and why an epistemic community emerges. PhD thesis, The London School of Economics and Political Science (LSE).

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Identification Number: 10.21953/lse.kyfl1yyn4im5

Abstract

This research is concerned with issues of episteme, epistemology, and community. It asks how and why an epistemic community emerges? It looks at the study of the Northern Ireland conflict and peace process as covered in the British and Irish political science academy in order to answer this question. This research is thus ultimately about knowledge, knowledge creators, and the circumstances and conditions in which they develop. It is also a case study of what happens when academics engage with political events. Do they act as innovators or simply as scholar who react to changing political environments? This research explains the emergence of the Northern Ireland epistemic community using the boundary object concept. It asserts that knowledge communities do not develop de novo but instead emerge through academics struggles and frustrations with existing knowledge paradigms. A boundary object is the means by scholars can come together and challenge such paradigms and build new knowledge infrastructures. Through the emergence of the Northern Ireland peace process and scholar’s (re)engagement with and application of consociational theory and comparative methods this epistemic community was made possible. This research looks at the barriers that prevented the emergence of this community during the Troubles, its emergence following the outbreak of the Northern Ireland peace process, and its evolution following the signing of the Good Friday Agreement. Additionally, we look at the conflicts that developed between members of this community and how these academics define themselves both professionally and in relation to a community they are a part of yet see themselves as a part from.

Item Type: Thesis (PhD)
Additional Information: © 2017 Corey R Jentry
Library of Congress subject classification: J Political Science > JN Political institutions (Europe) > JN101 Great Britain
Sets: Departments > Government
Supervisor: Kissane, Bill
URI: http://etheses.lse.ac.uk/id/eprint/3549

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