This ground-breaking political history of the two states in Ireland provides unique new insights into the 'Troubles' and the peace process. It examines the impact of the fraught dynamics between the competing identities of the Nationalist-Catholic-Irish community on the one hand and the Unionist-Protestant-British community on the other. Brian Walker provides a new understanding of the outbreak of the 'Troubles' in 1969 and the subsequent peace process. He argues that exclusive and confrontational ideas of identity developed in the north and south of Ireland after 1921, which helped to lead to the outbreak of violence nearly fifty years later. The rise of more pluralist and conciliatory views of identity has greatly assisted the recent move to accommodation and relative peace. In an innovative approach, Walker examines the role of commemorations and the influence of 'history.' Recent developments such as the successful establishment of the power-sharing executive in Belfast are covered as is the recent visit of Queen Elizabeth to Dublin.