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Northern Ireland

ISBN: 978-0-7456-3141-7
272 pages
March 2006, Polity
Northern Ireland (074563141X) cover image

Description

For almost three decades the troubles in Northern Ireland raged, claiming over 3,600 lives, with civilians accounting for almost half the fatalities. In this book, Jonathan Tonge examines the reasons for that conflict; the motivations of the groups involved and explores the prospects for a post-conflict Northern Ireland.

The book:


  • assesses the motivations and campaigns of the IRA, UVF and UDA and other armed groups
  • discusses what each paramilitary group achieved through violence
  • analyses the continuing controversies surrounding the Northern Irelands dirty war
  • outlines the extent of collusion between British security forces and loyalist paramilitaries
  • explores how governments and political parties shaped the peace process
  • scrutinizes prospects for the political development of unionism and nationalism within a devolved power sharing framework
  • examines whether the sectarian divide is strengthening or weakening
  • concludes by assessing whether Northern Ireland can move permanently from violence and instability to become a normal peaceful polity, in which the war is merely a historic relic

Written by an acknowledged expert in the field, Northern Ireland combines incisive analysis, original research and a lucid style to provide an important assessment of what has been described as an 800 year old problem.

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Table of Contents

Acknowledgements.

List of Tables.

List of Abbreviations.

Introduction.

1. Theories of the Conflict.

2. The Provisional IRA.

3. The Overt War Against the IRA.

4. The Covert War Against the IRA.

5. The Politics of Sinn Fein.

6. Republican Ultras.

7. Loyalist Violence.

8. War by Other Means or the Triumph of Moderation? The Party System.

9. Auditing the Peace and Political Processes.

Conclusion.

Glossary.

Internet Links.

References.

Index.

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Author Information

Jonathan Tonge is Professor of Politics at Salford University
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The Wiley Advantage


  • Written by a leading authority on ‘the troubles’, this book provides an ideal introduction to the most bitter and prolonged ethnic conflict in Western Europe since 1945
  • Sets out the history and motivations of each of the groups involved and analyses the tactics used by British security forces to undermine paramiliary activity and politicise the struggles
  • Shows how, after more than three decades of violence, Northern Ireland is moving erratically towards a more peaceful phase
  • Offers in-depth coverage of the latest events, from the Good Friday agreement to the suspension of the Stormont Assembly and the IRA’s implication in the recent bank robbery in Belfast
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Reviews

"This is an insightful and scholarly book, which skilfully examines recent changes in the political dynamics of Northern Ireland. The author provides a detailed analysis of the leading protagonists and the key political issues which is thoroughly researched, incisive and thought-provoking. For anyone interested in learning more about why the peace process has stuttered so badly in recent years, this book is a must read."

Feargal Cochrane, Lancaster University

"Jonathan Tonge's knowledge of Northern Ireland is prodigious and his research is painstaking, sharp and detached. He has an eye for the telling comment. This book displays all these qualities. Not only does it audit the status of the peace process but it offers an agenda for moving politics forward. This is a must read for politicians and policy-makers as well as students."

Paul Arthur, University of User

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