Unequal Employment Opportunities Is the Main Cause of Armed Conflict. Discuss.

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“Unequal employment opportunities is the main cause of armed conflict within a nation-state.” Do you agree? Explain your answer.

I agree that unequal employment opportunities is one significant cause of armed conflict within a nation state. But another factor leading to armed conflict is divided loyalties. The case study used in this essay is Northern Ireland.

Unequal employment opportunities is one significant cause of armed conflict in Northern Ireland. In Protestant-dominant Northern Ireland, the Catholics, being the minority in the nation, did not receive equal employment opportunities as the Protestants, despite their academic qualifications being comparable to that of the Protestants. The government is also dominated by the Protestants, resulting in a tendency to employ Protestants rather than Catholics in the civil service workforce. Specifically in the public sector workforce, although there are few Catholic civil servants in Northern Ireland, they are assigned to middle-ranking posts. Civil servants in Northern Ireland are predominantly Protestants. There are also no Catholics in the cabinet or the top ranks of the Royal Ulster Constabulary (RUC) and other important public bodies. In private sectors, firms and industries commonly had workforce of more than 90% Protestants. Due to majority of the employers being Protestants, the Catholics sometimes could not find a job as the Protestants tend to favor their own people, thus placing the Catholics at disadvantage. As, a result, Catholics can only take up jobs of lower-ranks with lower pay and thus vacant. Moreover, at times of high tension, Catholic workers would be first retrenched by the company instead of Protestant workers. A survey in 1971 showed that Catholics were two and a half times more likely to be unemployed as compared to Protestants. This clearly shows that the Catholics in Northern Ireland are receiving unequal employment opportunities. As finding an ideal job becomes difficult for the...
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