History and Government Faculty Publications

Title

Prospect Theory and the Framing of the Good Friday Agreement

Document Type

Article

Publication Date

Winter 2010

Journal Title

Conflict Resolution Quarterly

Volume

28

Issue

2

First Page

183

Last Page

203

DOI

http://dx.doi.org/10.1002/crq.20019

Abstract

We examine how supporters of the 1998 Good Friday Agreement tried to persuade their constituents to vote for ratifying the agreement. We argue that a “sales” message based on tenets of prospect theory—framing the preferred choice as less risky than the alternative—garnered more support for the initial vote and, more important, insulated the process to some extent from failures in implementation. For this article, we determine how political leaders supporting the agreement framed it, finding that they attempted to do so both positively toward a better future and as a better alternative to continued or renewed conflict.

Keywords

Prospect Theory, Good Friday Agreement


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