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A Political History of the Two Irelands: from Partition to Peace

A Political History of the Two Irelands: from Partition to Peace

Hardback

By (author) Brian Mercer Walker

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  • Publisher: Palgrave MacMillan
  • Format: Hardback | 272 pages
  • Dimensions: 144mm x 223mm x 20mm | 454g
  • Publication date: 15 March 2012
  • Publication City/Country: Basingstoke
  • ISBN 10: 0230301665
  • ISBN 13: 9780230301665

Product description

This ground-breaking political history of the two states in Ireland provides unique new insights into the 'Troubles' and the peace process. It examines the impact of the fraught dynamics between the competing identities of the Nationalist-Catholic-Irish community on the one hand and the Unionist-Protestant-British community on the other. Brian Walker provides a new understanding of the outbreak of the 'Troubles' in 1969 and the subsequent peace process. He argues that exclusive and confrontational ideas of identity developed in the north and south of Ireland after 1921, which helped to lead to the outbreak of violence nearly fifty years later. The rise of more pluralist and conciliatory views of identity has greatly assisted the recent move to accommodation and relative peace. In an innovative approach, Walker examines the role of commemorations and the influence of 'history.' Recent developments such as the successful establishment of the power-sharing executive in Belfast are covered as is the recent visit of Queen Elizabeth to Dublin.

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Author information

BRIAN M. WALKER Professor of Irish Studiesat theSchool of Politics, International Relations and Philosophy, Queen's University Belfast, UK. He is a former director of the Institute of Irish Studies at Queen's. His publications include a number of books on Irish elections and politics, such as Dancing to History's Tune: History, Myth and Politics in Ireland.

Review quote

'It is refreshing to encounter a book that explains the way the modern histories of the two Irelands -north and south- have intertwined and formed a dizzyingly self-reinforcing feedback system: sometimes for the better, mostly for the worse. Professor Brian Walker is one of the few writers who can catch this interaction with clarity and a strong and fair sense of evidence. I recommend this book highly to anyone who cares about where Ireland has been - and where it is going.' - Donald Harman Akenson, Douglas Professor of History, Queen's University, Canada 'There are always other narratives in a nation's history, which are hidden or consciously excluded by those with a vested interest in doing so. In this timely overview of Ireland's political history in the last century, Brian Walker takes a wide European and all-Ireland viewpoint to show how a selective narrowing of identities underpinned the Northern Ireland conflict and how a reconsideration of such selective narratives has underpinned the current peace process. This is a most uplifting and highly readable new work.' - Marianne Elliott, Professor and Director of the Institute for Irish Studies, University of Liverpool, UK 'This book has two great strengths: first, an equal grasp of the internal affairs of Northern Ireland and what is now the Republic of Ireland, and secondly, an equally firm understanding of the ways in which the two Irelands interact with each other. It took two generations for the two entities to realise that they had to live together, and to arrive openly at mechanisms that would achieve this. However, it is tragic that it took over three thousand deaths and an unknown amount of economic growth missed out on because of political instability for this to become clear at a popular level.' - Tom Garvin, Professor Emeritus of Politics in University College Dublin, Ireland

Table of contents

Introduction PART I Action and Reaction: Majority Identities, 1921-60 Parallel Universes: Minority Identities, 1921-60 Remembering and Forgetting: Commemorations and Identity, 1921-60 PART II Conflict and Conciliation: Identities and Change, 1960-2010 Remembering and Reclaiming: Commemorations and Identity, 1960-2010 The Past and the Present: History, Identity and the Peace Process Conclusion Endnotes Bibliography