The Constitution Unit


NEW REPORT: Perspectives on the Belfast/Good Friday Agreement

26 July 2023

New report published covering perspectives on the Belfast/Good Friday Agreement.

An image of Derry, its river and the Peace Bridge at dusk

The Constitution Unit has published a new report examining perspectives on the Belfast/Good Friday Agreement over the last 25 years. The current impasse at Stormont and the political disruption caused by Brexit and the Protocol in recent years point to a continued need to understand the diverse viewpoints that exist on this key document from the Northern Ireland peace process.

Read the report

The report, Perspectives on the Belfast/Good Friday Agreement: Examining Diverse Views, 1998–2023, explores how the Agreement is seen across Northern Ireland’s different communities and among politicians, civil servants, and other experts. It is published at a time when the Assembly and Executive are suspended, with efforts ongoing to restore them.

Professor Alan Renwick (UCL Constitution Unit), co-author of the report alongside Conor J. Kelly, said:

‘While the 1998 Agreement has been a triumph in delivering its main objective of peace, many challenges remain in using it to bring good governance to Northern Ireland. Different people have varying understandings of what the Agreement means, how it has been implemented, and how it should work in the future. Only if these diverse perspectives are listened to and understood will restoring and rejuvenating the Agreement be possible. I hope this report will help that process.’

The report includes new analysis of manifestos, expert interviews, and focus groups with the public. It is released just weeks after the 25th anniversary celebrations of the Agreement brought current and former world leaders to Northern Ireland to celebrate the success of the peace process.