“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.