Can the Downing Street Declaration bring an end to centuries of conflict and 25 years of war in the North of Ireland? In this book, the author addresses these crucial questions. Criticizing the narrow presentation of the Irish conflict as the legacy of ancient and tribal hatreds, Ryan shows how international developments have shaped Irish politics, past and present. The author explores the unique significance of Ireland to the world's first superpower and explains Britain's dogged determination in hanging onto its oldest colony. In this context, Ryan demonstrates that the Downing Street Declaration marks a significant shift in British policy with serious implications for the stability of the Union. The politics of republicanism, which culminated in its 1992 peace strategy, are explored in detail, and for the first time, Irish historical revisionism is examined in the light of the new politics of the Irish Republic.