International Policy Center Home Page
Type: Public event
Host: Ford School

If Ireland can find Peace, what chance for Israel?

Date & time

Sep 13, 2010, 4:00-5:30 pm EDT


Weill Hall, Annenberg Auditorium
735 S. State Street, Ann Arbor, MI 48109

Lord John Alderdice is an appointed life Member of the British House of Lords of the British Parliament at Westminster. Recently the Liberal Democrat Parliamentary Party in the House of Lords elected him as its new Convener (Chair) and in this position Lord Alderdice will provide an essential link between backbench Liberal Democrat peers and Liberal Democrats in Government. He is also a Psychiatrist and Psychotherapist at the Centre for Psychotherapy which he established in Belfast, United Kingdom. He is a Visiting Professor in Psychiatry and Joint Chairman of the Critical Incident Analysis Group at the University of Virginia.

About the lecture

The success of the Irish Peace Process and the healing of historic British-Irish hostilities has made some commentators wonder why it has not yet been possible to apply some of the 'lessons learnt' to the problems of Israel's relations with the Palestinians and its other Arab neighbours. In the last thirty years, no one has been involved in the Irish Peace Process from so many different perspectives as Lord Alderdice, and since the Good Friday Agreement of 1998 he has devoted much of his energy to exploring the vexed questions of the Middle East through regular visits to the region and meetings with a remarkable range of participants. In his lecture he will address the value and the limits of 'lessons learnt' from Ireland, and the problems of implementing them in the Middle East.

More about Lord Alderdice

Lord Alderdice was formerly Leader of Northern Ireland's Alliance Party, and then the first Speaker of the Northern Ireland Assembly. After six years he retired from the Assembly and was appointed by the British Government to be one of four international commissioners who would oversee the standing down of the paramilitary organizations and the normalizing of security in Ireland. From 2005-2009 he was the elected President of Liberal International, the worldwide body of more than 100 liberal political parties, as well as a member of the IMC (the international monitoring commission put in place by the British, Irish and US Governments to monitor terrorist activity and security normalization in Northern Ireland). He has substantial experience of working with political conflict and terrorism in various parts of the world, particularly in the Middle East.

Lord Alderdice speaking after his election in the House of Lords said: 'I am greatly honored by the confidence my colleagues have shown in me and excited by the opportunity to contribute to the work of the party in the Lords, especially with new and challenging opportunities of coalition government. The Liberal Democrat Parliamentary Party is not only one of the largest groups of Liberal parliamentarians in any national parliamentary chamber in Europe, it also represents in its membership the range of skills, experience, ability and integrity which make this place such an valued part of the political system of our country. I am proud to be part of it and honored to have this new role in which to serve it.'

More about the Josh Rosenthal Education Fund

This lecture is supported by the Gerald R. Ford School of Public Policy's Josh Rosenthal Education Fund. The Fund was created in memory of Josh Rosenthal, a 1979 U-M graduate who died at the World Trade Center on September 11, 2001. The fund supports lectures, research, and student internships that encourage public discussion and greater understanding of changes in the world since 9/11. The lecture is co-sponsored by the International Policy Center at the Gerald R. Ford School of Public Policy.