The PSEPII funds were used to execute a research project, including appointment of a Research Assistant, endeavouring to situate the fraught debate on 'parity of esteem' in Northern Ireland in a broader international context theoretically and, practically, to flesh out what it might mean domestically.
The project thus comprised:
1) a literature/theoretical review of international thinking on 'the politics of recognition';
2) semi-structured interviews with a range of key players in Northern Ireland, including government agencies, parties, media, churches, business and trade unions, and the voluntary sector, as to what 'parity of esteem' means to them;
3) seven focus groups to test the representatives of these interviewees and to sense the state of popular opinion.
The project has thus offered an unprecedented opportunity (outside
of the work of Bryson and McCartney on symbols and Bryan and Jarman
on parades) to elaborate the potential meaning of a concept so
far largely reduced to partisan, but which has the capacity to
play a key role in rendering Northern Ireland adequately compatible
with liberal-democratic norms of free and equal citizenship.
"With All due Respect: Pluralism & Parity of Esteem" Democratic Dialogue Report #7