Is shared space really shared?
There have been many attempts to solve Northern Ireland’s problems over the last thirty years. The primary focus has been to increase the amount of intergroup contact between the two dominant groups (Protestant and Catholic) through developing shared space. Outlining a body of developing research, the present paper argues that shared space does not necessarily mean that groups interact in a meaningful way with one another. This is evidenced through data which examined intergroup behaviour in integrated secondary schools, further education college classes and a cross-community group in Northern Ireland. Results show that even in what is deemed as shared space, Protestant and Catholic young people remain highly segregated in homogenous groups at the individual level. The findings presented in this paper argue that shared space is not really shared in the true sense and suggests how this could be achieved as a way to improve intergroup relations in Northern Ireland.