Unionist Politics and the Politics of Unionism Since the Anglo-Irish Agreement

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Cork University Press, 1997 - Political Science - 426 pages
Unionist Politics and the Politics of Unionism is the first and most comprehensive study of unionist politics since the Anglo-Irish Agreement and sets out to explain the dynamics which underpin contemporary unionist political behaviour. An understanding of the mindset, fears and objectives of the largest political community in Northern Ireland is crucial to any attempt to address and resolve the political conflict in the region. This book concentrates on the period preceding the signing of the Anglo-Irish Agreement of 15 November 1985 through to the forum elections and multi-party talks of July 1996. In this contemporary history of Ulster unionism Feargal Cochrane examines the response to the Anglo-Irish Agreement, the tensions this created both within and between the main unionist parties and the evolution of the unionist political strategy after the failure of the campaign against the Agreement. In addition to explaining what happened during this period, the book analyses why the unionist political community behaved the way it did, provides an account of James Molyneaux's political downfall, and gives the first serious evaluation of David Trimble's performance as leader of the Ulster Unionist Party. The author refines and improves upon previous theoretical models of the unionist ideology. He outlines the problems and difficulties facing Ulster unionism as we approach the end of the millennium and provides an informed judgement about the ideology's long-term future. Unionist Politics and the Politics of Unionism contains a critical review of the existing literature on Ulster unionism which will be a useful reference point for academics, students, parliamentarians and all those requiring a deeper understanding of the subject.

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An Ideological Analysis
Divisive Visions
A Little Local Difficulty
The Talking Begins
Unionism Before and After the Ceasefires
Facing the Future
Text of the AngloIrish Agreement
Text of the Downing Street Declaration

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