Reconciliation in Northern Ireland: the value of inter-group contact.
Hewstone M., Hughes J.
Northern Ireland is still riven by segregation, caught between peace and reconciliation. Extensive survey research shows that intergroup contact has a key role to play in achieving reconciliation, whether through generic contact, cross-group friends (most effective) or indirect. Segregation is most profound in education. The new Shared Education Programme (SEP), which provides children with the opportunity to study with and meet pupils from the other community, has demonstrated benefits. The Northern Ireland Assembly's support for SEP is based on sound psychological principles and robust research evidence.