Though the Northern Ireland peace process was shaped by the involvement of many actors and participants, it is also evident that certain figures were central to its development. One such figure was Sir John Chilcot, who, based in the Northern Ireland Office in the formative years of the peace process, provided a point of focus for communicating with and managing a range of individuals and groups with the overriding objective of ending conflict in Northern Ireland. This article is based on an extended interview with Chilcot about the challenges he faced in assessing intelligence across a range of sources and collating that intelligence in ways to best serve the strategic objective of achieving peace. As such, it provides important information about the British government’s role in the early stages of the peace process, when sensitivities and risks were high, and it details the significance of building foundations that were consistent with key principles interpreted and applied through a pragmatic and imaginative assessment of intelligence.
"Managing the Atmosphere: Intelligence and Assessment in the Early Years of the Northern Ireland Peace Process—An Interview with Sir John Chilcot,"
New England Journal of Public Policy: Vol. 34:
2, Article 9.
Available at: https://scholarworks.umb.edu/nejpp/vol34/iss2/9