Resistance, obstruction and agenda-setting : the hidden politics of the Northern Ireland settlement

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Title: Resistance, obstruction and agenda-setting : the hidden politics of the Northern Ireland settlement
Authors: McGrattan, Cillian
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Date: 2009
Abstract: This paper examines Ulster unionism’s responses to and its increased disaffection from political developments in Northern Ireland since the 1990s. I suggest that Ulster unionist politics and, by way of extrapolation, Northern Irish politics cannot be understood without taking into account the “soft” or “hidden” face of political power. I argue that this aspect of political dynamics has been under-researched and under-appreciated in Northern Ireland and outline an alternative narrative of the “peace process” as the product of resistance and agenda-setting activities. This changed perspective requires a re-conceptualisation of the role played by unionist politics, which are seen to embody a paradox of alienation and powerlessness operating alongside the effective prevention of specific British government and Irish nationalist policy proposals. I conclude with the suggestion that the “peace process” occurred largely despite rather than because of elite intervention.
Funding Details: Not applicable
Type of material: Working Paper
Publisher: University College Dublin. Institute for British-Irish Studies
Keywords: UnionismNorthern IrelandConflictUlster
Subject LCSH: Unionism (Irish politics)
Northern Ireland--Politics and government
Language: en
Status of Item: Peer reviewed
Conference Details: Presentation at the Annual meeting of the Specialist Group on British and Comparative Territorial Politics of the Political Studies Association of the United Kingdom, University of Oxford, January, 7-8, 2010
Appears in Collections:Institute for British-Irish Studies (IBIS) Working Papers and Policy Papers

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