The State of Loyalism in Northern Ireland by G. Spencer

By G. Spencer

The nation of Loyalism in Northern eire examines the adjustments and advancements inside of parliamentary loyalism in the course of the Northern eire peace method. Drawing from interviews with key avid gamers, it charts the drama of tensions, debates and negotiations and offers a compelling within account.

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The State of Loyalism in Northern Ireland

The country of Loyalism in Northern eire examines the alterations and advancements inside parliamentary loyalism in the course of the Northern eire peace method. Drawing from interviews with key avid gamers, it charts the drama of tensions, debates and negotiations and offers a compelling within account.

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The Unionist Imagination 25 Of particular interest here is the emergence of pluralistic approaches to the constitutional question and the problem of Unionist receptiveness beyond predictable cultural and liberal expressions, towards civic transformation. A key text which addresses this problem is Porter’s Rethinking Unionism (1996), which looks at Unionist preoccupation with cultural and liberal thinking (defined by Porter as the cultural emphasis and the liberal emphasis) as an obstruction for dealing with the political realities created by the peace process.

The intention to obstruct and limit was especially evident in the selection of ministries after the Assembly elections in 1998, when the UUP selected posts in order to contain and obstruct the progress of Irish Nationalists (Spencer 2006a: 58). The end of Trimble’s leadership is a clear sign that for other party members and supporters his new approach had failed to halt the advance of Irish Nationalists and, therefore, had failed to prevent a weakening of Unionist power. Nevertheless, we need also recognise that if the peace process brought pressures and problems to mainstream unionism, it also led to the development of a working-class Unionist politics through the PUP and the UDP, each of which served to move the religious and ethnic preoccupations of traditional unionism towards a ‘secular and civic’ model of political engagement (Walker 2004: 253).

By referring to symbols and myths of ascendancy which support the orthodoxy that Protestantism is God’s will and Catholicism is necessarily imbued with an inferiority which is in dangerous opposition to the perceived exceptionalism of the Protestant tradition. For Paisley, support comes from seeking to augment fear and polarisation among Protestants, but not from within the mainstream of unionism. : 107). By projecting blame on Unionists who are seen as seeking to dilute the strength of the Union, Paisley is able to readily criticise the idea of moderation as little more that a process of concessions towards Catholicism, which is itself most potently exemplified by the advance of republicanism and the meddling Irish state.

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