The work examines the core values of loyalist communities, the roots of violence, and the shift toward peaceful coexistence with former enemies. Also discussed are the DUP's claims that it represents loyalism's "true voice" along with the complex and varying degrees of commitment to the Crown, the Protestant Faith, and the British governance of Northern Ireland. Lastly, it looks at how cultural expressions of loyalist identity, such as poetry or cartoons, are being used in the (re)construction of a loyalist memory.
Written by a leading expert on Ulster loyalism, the work is based on extensive interviews with loyalists and loyalist literature to provide an inside account of the processes of loyalist identity formation and transformation. Drawing on political science, sociology and cultural studies, it will appeal to anyone interested in Irish politics as well as conflict and peace processes.
Part of the reason for adopting this approach is because it is suggested that to a certain extent, academic analyses have defined the parameters of the conflict which has necessarily had implications for the shape of ensuing solutions. A further claim is that the persistent historical and political search for causes and solutions may be constitutive of the problems that conventional analysts seek to resolve. The articles in the first part introduce and problematize traditional analyses of the conflict. Additionally, these essays explain alternative approaches offering other ways of thinking about how the ‘problem’ of Northern Ireland has been constituted. The second part comprises empirically focused essays, each either engaging with or confronting the issue of the liberal hegemony that defines most analyses of the conflict. The final essay returns to more explicitly re-consider how the ‘problem’ of Northern Ireland has been theorized, represented and understood.
This book was previously published as a special issue of Critical Review of International Social and Political Philosophy.
This volume maps the different forms of intersection: cases where religion is prioritised in private life and ethnicity in public, where each coexists in tension in political life, and where the distinctions reinforce each other with dynamic effects. It maps the different patterns with case studies and comparisons from Ireland, Northern Ireland, France, Zimbabwe, Ghana and Malaysia. It shows how ordinary people construct their solidarities and identities using both ethnic and religious resources. This opens up analysis of the socially transformative, as well as politically antagonistic, potential of religion in situations of ethnic division.
This book was published as a special issue of Ethnopolitics.
Written by Irish, Scottish and English women and men it includes material on neglected topics such as the role of Britain, gender, culture and sectarianism. It presents a formidable challenge to the shibboleths of contemporary debate on Northern Ireland. A just and lasting peace necessitates thorough re-evaluation and Rethinking Northern Ireland provides a stimulus to that urgent task.
“The Alter sisters are mordant, wry, and crystalline in wit and vision; it is a tremendous pleasure to rocket through generations of their family histories with them.” —Lauren Groff, New York Timesbestselling author of Fates and Furies, The Monsters of Templeton, and Arcadia
In the waning days of 1999, the last of the Alters—three damaged but wisecracking sisters who share an apartment on Manhattan’s Upper West Side—decide it’s time to close the circle of the family curse by taking their own lives. But first, Lady, Vee, and Delph must explain the origins of that curse and how it has manifested throughout the preceding generations. Unspooling threads of history, personal memory, and family lore, they weave a mesmerizing account that stretches back a century to their great-grandfather, a brilliant scientist whose professional triumph became the terrible legacy that defines them. A suicide note crafted by three bright, funny women, A Reunion of Ghosts is the final chapter of a saga lifetimes in the making—one that is inexorably intertwined with the story of the twentieth century itself.
“Mitchell explores the mixed-blessing bonds of family with wry wit. This original tale is black comedy at its best.”—People Book of the Week
“A rich portrait of a complicated family, at turns violent and hilarious.”—Emma Straub, New York Timesbestselling author
From the Trade Paperback edition.
Conflict in Northern Ireland is not and never will be a holy war. Yet religion is more socially and politically significant than many commentators presume. In fact, religion has remained a central feature of social identity and politics throughout conflict as well as recent change.
There has been an acceleration of interest in the relationship between religion, identity and politics in modern societies. Building on this debate, Claire Mitchell presents a challenging analysis of religion in contemporary Northern Ireland, arguing that religion is not merely a marker of ethnicity and that it continues to provide many of the meanings of identity, community and politics. In light of the multifaceted nature of the conflict in Northern Ireland, Mitchell explains that, for Catholics, religion is primarily important in its social and institutional forms, whereas for many Protestants its theological and ideological dimensions are more pressing. Even those who no longer go to church tend to reproduce religious stereotypes of 'them and us'. Drawing on a range of unique interview material, this book traces how individuals and groups in Northern Ireland have absorbed religious types of cultural knowledge, belonging and morality, and how they reproduce these as they go about their daily lives. Despite recent religious and political changes, the author concludes that perceptions of religious difference help keep communities in Northern Ireland socially separate and often in conflict with one another.