In this three-week study program, students will explore the historical, political and religious roots of “The Troubles” in Northern Ireland as well as examine prospects for peace in this region. We will begin in Ireland, examining the historical struggle for independence from the British and the many forms that movement took – including the political, religious, and cultural. Ireland’s emergence as a Celtic Tiger, because of its rapid economic growth indicates the changes that have occurred since independence. Northern Ireland remains a part of the United Kingdom, and as such is the site for continued movements for independence and autonomy as well as reactions to those movements. “Peace Walls” cross many of the cities of Northern Ireland, physically separating communities. A civil rights movement in the 1970s led to an intense period of violence that largely subsided with the Good Friday Accords in the mid 1990s. In Northern Ireland, we’ll explore the ways in which this divided society copes with the attendant political, economic and social problems of religion, peace and conflict. Each student will contribute to the group experience by conducting field research related to the themes of peace and conflict on the island.