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PublicationThe United States and Northern Ireland: International Pressures as an Impetus for Civil Rights Progress(2008-04-29) Escoffery, ErinAlthough legislative actions and judicial decisions failed to spark the desired civil rights progress in the United States or Northern Ireland, growing international pressures helped to reinforce the respective domestic civil rights movements and served as an impetus for change in both. The United States began implementing new policies regarding racial segregation in response to Cold War politics, while Northern Ireland experienced an expansion of rights due in large part to the United Kingdom’s membership in the European Economic Community and subsequent European Union. Civil rights progress in Northern Ireland also benefited from American encouragement of peace and reconciliation. Thus, the relatively recent increase in interdependence between nations both economically and politically has created a new sense of accountability among states. Domestic repression has become an embarrassment in a global society that touts the benefits of democracy and freedom, and thus states have taken greater care to solve internal problems of inequality.