Probation Practice and Citizenship, Good Relations and the Emerging European Intercultural Agenda

Derick Wilson

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

    Abstract

    Good Relations practice in the contested society of Northern Ireland demands that staff work to a mental model where people are seen as equal and different citizens rather than members of partisan traditions. This is a demanding personal and professional challenge aided by working to a value base of securing equity, valuing difference and promoting interdependence (Eyben et al. 1997) and the values underpinning A Shared Future (OFMDFM 2005). Building Good Relations between people from ‘different religious beliefs, political opinions and racial groups’ (NI Act 1998, Section 2) means that staff working for a public body need support in maintaining a critical distance from their personal traditions and the communities they serve if, professionally, they are to work towards a model of citizenship not partisanship.From 2003 to 2006 the Probation Board for Northern Ireland committed an across-grade development group of staff to consider how the service can support Good Relations and build a society based on ‘citizenship’. The Good Relations tasks of staff were understood to be to promote personal development and grow an ease with meeting difference within the agency and with clients (Wilson 2006).When present-day relationships, in both contested and secure societies, can so readily be dominated by fears of difference, we can no longer expect individuals and small groups to risk all to protect those different from them. It is now time to invite people in political life, civic life, faith, trade unions and public life to show ‘civic courage’ (Shriver 2005) and to build civic-minded organisations and public institutions that become blocks to the toleration of demeaning behaviours and establish Good Relations between our diverse citizens as an intercultural and citizenship-based necessity.The securing of an agreed law and order system, and the experience of being equal and different citizens under that law, are deeply intertwined (Wright 1987, 1996). It is imperative that criminal justice agencies see the goals of wider Good Relations and delivering a service to different citizens as central to their practice.
    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)46-62
    JournalIrish Probation Journal
    Volume4
    Issue number1
    Publication statusPublished - Sep 2007

    Bibliographical note

    Available freely on Irish Probation Journal Website

    http://www.probation.ie/pws/websitepublishing.nsf
    Reference text: Byrne, J., Hansson, U. and Bell, J. (2006), Shared Living: Mixed Residential Communities in Northern Ireland, Belfast: Institute for Conflict Research
    Eyben, K. Keys, L., Morrow, D. and Wilson, D. A. (2002), ‘Learning Beyond Fear: New Events Seeking New Habits’, Reflections, vol. 3, no. 4, pp. 42–51
    Eyben, K., Morrow, D. and Wilson, D. A. (1997), A Worthwhile Venture: Practically Investing in Equity, Diversity and Interdependence in Northern Ireland, Coleraine: University of Ulster
    Fitzduff, M. (1989), ‘From Ritual to Consciousness’, D.Phil. thesis, University of Ulster
    Girard, R. (1977), Violence and the Sacred, Baltimore: Johns Hopkins
    Girard, R. (1978), To Double Business Bound, Essays on Literature, Mimesis and Anthropology, Baltimore: Johns Hopkins
    ICR (2005), Hate Crime Project, A project for the Equality Directorate of the First Minister and Deputy First Minister. This involved studies of racist, homophobic and sectarian violence and harassment, Belfast: Institute of Conflict Research
    Jarman, N., Keys, L., Pearce, J. and Wilson, D. A. (2005), Community Cohesion: Applying Learning from Groundwork in Northern Ireland, London: Groundwork UK
    Lorenz, W. (1994), Social Work in a Changing Europe, London: Routledge
    Morrissey, M. ( 2006), ‘Some Thoughts on a Good Relations Plan for Belfast’, unpublished consultation paper for Belfast City Council’s Good Relations Steering Panel
    Morrow, D., Eyben, K., Keys, L. and Wilson, D. A. (2002), ‘Future Ways Submission on Community Relations Policy’, submitted to the Office of the First Minister and Deputy First Minister, Belfast
    Niebuhr, R. (1952), The Irony of American History, New York: Charles Scribner &Sons
    OFMDFM (2005), A Shared Future, Belfast: Office of the First Minister and Deputy First Minister.
    OFMDFM (2006) A Racial Equality Strategy for Northern Ireland, Belfast: Office of the First Minister and Deputy First Minister
    Ouseley, H. (2001), Community Pride not Prejudice, Making Diversity Work in Bradford, Bradford: Bradford Vision
    Senge, P. (1994), The Fifth Discipline, London: Nicholas Brealey
    Shriver, D. (2005), Honest Patriots, London: Oxford University Press
    Sondhi, R. (2006), ‘Interculturality’, unpublished formal response at the launch of the Race Equality Strategy by the Office of the First Minister and Deputy First Minister, Grosvenor Hall, Belfast, March
    Watt, P. and McGaughey, F. (2006), Public Authorities and Minority Ethnic Groups – Northern Ireland, the Republic of Ireland and Scotland, Belfast: NCCRI and Institute of Conflict Research
    Wilson, D. A. (1994), ‘Learning Together for a Change’, D.Phil. thesis, School of Education, University of Ulster
    Wilson, D. A. (2005), ‘The Practice of Good Relations’, a talk to Belfast City Council, available online at: www.community-relations.org.uk/about_the_council/background_info/good_relations/
    Wilson, D. A. (2006), ‘Good Relations and Probation: An Outline of a developmental Initiative by the Probation Board for Northern Ireland’, Irish Probation Journal, vol. 3, no. 1, pp. 56–70
    Wilson, D. A. and Morrow, D. J. (1996), Ways Out of Conflict, Belfast: Corrymeela Press
    Wilson, D. A. and Tyrell, J. (1995), ‘Institutions for Conciliation and Mediation’, in Dunn, S, (ed), Facets of the Conflict in Northern Ireland: London: Macmillan Press
    Wright, F. (1987), Northern Ireland: A Comparative Analysis, Dublin: Gill & Macmillan
    Wright, F. (1988), ‘Reconciling the Histories of Catholic and Protestant in Northern Ireland’, in A. Falconer and J. Liechty (eds), Reconciling Memories, Dublin: Columba Press
    Wright, F. (1996), Two Lands on One Soil, Dublin: Gill & Macmillan and The Understanding Conflict Trust

    Keywords

    • Good Relations
    • citizenship
    • sectarianism
    • racism
    • organisational learning
    • interculturalism
    • equity
    • diversity
    • interdependence
    • equality.

    Fingerprint

    Dive into the research topics of 'Probation Practice and Citizenship, Good Relations and the Emerging European Intercultural Agenda'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

    Cite this