Horowitz's theory of ethnic party competition and the case of the Northern Ireland Social Democratic and Labour Party, 1970-1979

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Title: Horowitz's theory of ethnic party competition and the case of the Northern Ireland Social Democratic and Labour Party, 1970-1979
Authors: McLoughlin, P. J.
Permanent link: http://hdl.handle.net/10197/2407
Date: Oct-2008
Abstract: This article uses Donald Horowitz’s theory of ethnic party competition in order to understand the development of the Northern Ireland Social Democratic and Labour Party (SDLP) during the first decade of its existence. The main contention of the article is that Horowitz’s thesis, although based primarily on observation of party competition in divided societies in Africa and Asia, is remarkably applicable to the SDLP in terms of the party’s evolution against the backdrop of the Northern Ireland conflict in the 1970s. Horowitz’s theory helps explain why the SDLP failed in its original objective of mobilizing a cross-community constituency behind a radical, reformist agenda, and instead became what Horowitz terms an “ethnically based party”, representing the interests of only one side of the political divide in Northern Ireland.
Funding Details: Not applicable
Type of material: Journal Article
Publisher: Routledge
Copyright (published version): 2008 Taylor & Francis Group
Keywords: Horowitz;Ethnic party competition;Northern Ireland;SDLP
Subject LCSH: Ethnic conflict--Northern Ireland
Political parties--Northern Ireland
Social Democratic and Labour Party (Northern Ireland)
DOI: 10.1080/13537110802473324
Language: en
Status of Item: Peer reviewed
Appears in Collections:Politics and International Relations Research Collection
IBIS Research Collection

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