'I recommend this book to all those involved with peace making and peace building, political negotiations and public opinion polls, as well as those with a particular interest in Northern Ireland. Dr Irwin worked closely with the Northern Ireland political parties during the final critical years of the Stormont Talks and my Review and I am persuaded that the unique approach he developed of running public opinion polls in co-operation with party negotiators contributed significantly to the successful outcome of our efforts. It is of vital importance that all the lessons of the Northern Ireland peace process are placed at the disposal of the international community and this enterprise should certainly include the new methodologies developed by Dr Irwin. They are reviewed in detail in his book so that they can be replicated, along with copies of all the published reports and a commentary on their political context. These examples, together with their analysis, should provide any would-be practitioner with all the materials that they may need to undertake their own series of peace polls in support of political processes aimed at the resolution of conflicts elsewhere.' - Senator George J. Mitchell
Colin Irwin received his Doctoral degree in Social Science from the Maxwell School of Citizenship and Public Affairs at Syracuse University in the US in 1985 with a study of the Inuit and how they developed a society without war. Then, through a series of appointments at Dalhousie University in Canada, Queen's University of Belfast and the University of Liverpool developed 'peace polls' to bring the views of 'the people' into the negotiations of the Nunavut settlement in Canada in the 1980s and the Belfast Agreement in Northern Ireland in the 1990s. Since then he has extended his work around the world to include the Balkans, Middle East, Kashmir, Sri Lanka and relations between the West and the Muslim World all reviewed in his comparative work 'The People's Peace'.