The continuity of political themes between pre- and post-conflict Northern Ireland and the prominence of ex-prisoners in the political landscape render imperative the social integration of political ex-prisoners as a means to ease movement to a more normal political environment. This article argues that the means by which this may be achieved is through a vibrant engagement with the notion of citizenship, and through a privileging of the idea of social citizenship as something which unites both political traditions and through which the more thorny issue of political citizenship may be approached. In particular, the issues of poverty and social exclusion lie at the heart of the concerns of political ex-prisoners and, it is argued, lie at the heart of any potential solution to them. Social citizenship is therefore presented as the foundation for a model of transitional citizenship and a solid base from which to build a new and inclusive society.

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