Unionists, Loyalists, and Conflict Transformation in Northern Ireland

Hardcover | September 14, 2011

byLee A. Smithey

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In Northern Ireland, a once seemingly intractable conflict is in a state of transformation. Lee A. Smithey offers a grassroots view of that transformation, drawing on interviews, documentary evidence, and extensive field research. He offers essential models for how ethnic and communal-basedconflicts can shift from violent confrontation toward peaceful co-existence. Smithey focuses particularly on Protestant unionists and loyalists in Northern Ireland, who maintain varying degrees of commitment to the Protestant faith, the Crown, and and Ulster / British identity. He argues that antagonistic collective identities in ethnopolitical conflict can become lesspolarizing as partisans adopt new conflict strategies and means of expressing identity. Consequently, the close relationship between collective identity and collective action is a crucial element of conflict transformation. Smithey closely examines attempts in Protestant/unionist/loyalistcommunities and organizations to develop more constructive means of expressing collective identity and pursuing political agendas that can help improve community relations. Key leaders and activists have begun to reframe shared narratives and identities, making possible community support fornegotiations, demilitarization, and political cooperation, while also diminishing out-group polarization. As Smithey shows, this kind of shift in strategy and collective vision is the heart of conflict transformation, and the challenges and opportunities faced by grassroots unionists and loyalists in Northern Ireland can prove instructive for other regions of intractable conflict.

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In Northern Ireland, a once seemingly intractable conflict is in a state of transformation. Lee A. Smithey offers a grassroots view of that transformation, drawing on interviews, documentary evidence, and extensive field research. He offers essential models for how ethnic and communal-basedconflicts can shift from violent confrontation...

Lee A. Smithey coordinates the Peace and Conflict Studies program at Swarthmore College in Swarthmore, Pennsylvania. He is an Associate Professor of Sociology in the college's Department of Sociology and Anthropology, where he teaches and studies social movements, ethnopolitical conflict transformation, and nonviolent conflict methods...
Format:HardcoverDimensions:276 pages, 6.42 × 9.29 × 0.98 inPublished:September 14, 2011Publisher:Oxford University PressLanguage:English

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10:0195395875

ISBN - 13:9780195395877

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Table of Contents

1. Introduction2. Ethnic Identity Change and Conflict Transformation3. Protestant Unionists and Loyalists4. Mitigating Murals and Loyalist Cultural Innovation5. The Orange Order: Mitigating Parades, Public Relations, and Identity Change6. Heritage, Memory, and Identity Work7. Strategy, Pragmatism, and Public Relations8. Conclusion