The political impact of secularisation in Northern Ireland

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Title: The political impact of secularisation in Northern Ireland
Authors: Hayes, Bernadette C.
McAllister, Ian
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Date: 2004
Abstract: The Northern Ireland conflict has traditionally been characterized as a sectarian conflict between two monolithic religious communities, Protestant and Catholic. As a result, little attention has been devoted to the social and political differences stemming from other forms of religious identification, notably religious independents, or those who claim no religious affiliation. Using the 2002 Northern Ireland Life and Times Survey, this paper provides the most recent empirical evidence to challenge this conventional wisdom. The results suggest the existence of a small but significant group of religious independents that not only differ from the two communities in relation to their socio-demographic background but also in terms of their pragmatism on the constitutional issue. However, independents also eschew electoral politics, suggesting that until genuinely non-confessional parties emerge to represent their views, their potential to ameliorate the conflict will remain immobilised.
Funding Details: Not applicable
Type of material: Working Paper
Publisher: University College Dublin. Institute for British-Irish Studies
Copyright (published version): The authors, 2004
Keywords: Northern IrelandConflictProtestantCatholicLife and timesSecularism
Subject LCSH: Identification (Religion)
Northern Ireland--Religion
Secularization--Northern Ireland
Language: en
Status of Item: Peer reviewed
Conference Details: Revised version of a paper presented at Institute for British-Irish Studies Conference “Old structures, new beliefs: religion, community and politics in contemporary Ireland,” University College Dublin, 15 May 2003.
Appears in Collections:Institute for British-Irish Studies (IBIS) Working Papers and Policy Papers

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