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Fact Sheet:
Minimum GPA (Undergraduate): 2.25 Minimum GPA (Graduate): 3.0
Language of Instruction: English Number of Credits Offered: 3
Eligible Population: 01 Freshman, 02 Sophomore, 03 Junior, 04 Senior, General Public, Graduate, Non-Degree Seeking, PhD Type of Program: Faculty-led
Open to non-Mason Students: Yes
Program Description:
Northern Ireland

Politicians, Paramilitaries, and Peace in Northern Ireland 

“Politicians, Paramilitaries, and Peace,” takes students to Northern Ireland to learn about the linkages between the political and grassroots levels in a conflict that has evolved significantly over the last 50 years but still faces challenges of reconciliation and integration. Students see the impact of partition and witness how Northern Ireland and the Republic developed differently following this key moment in their histories. Students will examine the linkages between the Civil Rights Movement in the United States and the events of the 1960s in Northern Ireland and visit the peace walls in Belfast to study their relationship to paramilitary groups’ ceasefires. The class will visit the Northern Ireland Assembly at Stormont to hear from political parties and politicians involved in the negotiations of the 1990s and will also hear firsthand accounts from civil society organizations and grassroots organizations, such as women’s groups and ex-combatants’ groups.In both Belfast and Derry/Londonderry, we’ll examine how the post-conflict scenario evolves and delve into the challenges of a process that is frozen in the period of conflict management rather than moving on to conflict transformation and conflict resolution. Lectures and guest speakers will address the challenges of peacebuilding at an everyday level in interface communities and the realities of life in a polarized, post-ceasefire society. The course will examine how the theoretical works out at the practical level and raise the question of what model of government is best suited to such a society.

Program Details

Credits Offered:

  • CONF 385: International Field Experience
  • CONF 397: Study Abroad Special Topics
  • Conflict Analysis and Resolution (CONF) 695:Selected Topics


This program is open to all undergraduate and graduate students including those who do not attend George Mason University.



Program Cost (Summer 2018): $3890. 

Save $200 when you apply by March 1 and pay your deposit by March 15!

Price Includes:
  • Tuition (3 credits)
  • Hotel accomodations
  • Two meals per day
  • In-country ground transportation
  • Cultural excursions
  • Entrance fees
  • Course trainers’ and speakers' costs
  • International Emergency Insurance
Price does not include:
  • Round-trip airfare
  • Additional meals
  • Personal Spending

Program Itinerary*

Day 1 Students arrive in Belfast; Orientation
Day 2 Remembering Conflict - Crumlin Road Gaol and Peace Walls
Day 3 Making Peace from the Bottom Up - A Unionist/Loyalist Perspective
Day 4 Making Peace from the Bottom Up - A Nationalist/Republican Perspective
Day 5 Making Peace  - A Political Perspective; Meetings with Political Parties at City Hall
Day 6 Building Peace in Contested Spaces in Derry/Londonderry & The Giants Causeway/ Game of Thrones filming locations
Day 7 Governing Peace - Stormont & Belfast City Council Good Relations Unit
Day 8 A Post Conflict City - Belfast's Titanic Centre

*Instructor reserves the right to modify the course schedule as needed

Contact Information

Associate Director
Michelle Everson
(703) 993-4473

Dr. William Mitchell
Seán Brennan

Dates / Deadlines:
Dates / Deadlines:
Term Year App Deadline Decision Date Start Date End Date
Summer 2018 03/11/2018 ** Rolling Admission 06/30/2018 07/08/2018
NOTE: Save $200 when you apply by March 1 and pay your deposit by March 15!

** Indicates rolling admission application process. Applicants will be immediately notified of acceptance into this program and be able to complete post-decision materials prior to the term's application deadline.