A Treatise on Northern Ireland, Volume II: Control

ISBN : 9780198870722

Brendan O'Leary
304 ページ
153 x 234 mm

Winner of the James S. Donnelly, Sr. Prize from the American Conference for Irish Studies An Irish Times Book of the Year 2019.

The second volume of the definitive political history of Northern Ireland. This landmark synthesis of political science and historical institutionalism is a detailed study of antagonistic ethnic majoritarianism. Northern Ireland was coercively created through a contested partition in 1920. Subsequently Great Britain compelled Sinn Fein's leaders to rescind the declaration of an Irish Republic, remain within the British Empire, and grant the Belfast Parliament the right to secede. If it did so, a commission would consider modifying the new border. The outcome, however, was the formation of two insecure regimes, North and South, both of which experienced civil war, while the boundary commission was subverted. In the North a control system organized the new majority behind a dominant party that won all elections to the Belfast parliament until its abolition in 1972. The Ulster Unionist Party successfully disorganized Northern nationalists and Catholics. Bolstered by the 'Specials,' a militia created from the Ulster Volunteer Force, this system displayed a pathological version of the Westminster model of democracy, which may reproduce one-party dominance, and enforce national, ethnic, religious, and cultural discrimination. How the Unionist elite improvised this control regime, and why it collapsed under the impact of a civil rights movement in the 1960s, take center-stage in this second volume of A Treatise on Northern Ireland. The North's trajectory is paired and compared with the Irish Free State's incremental decolonization and restoration of a Republic. Irish state-building, however, took place at the expense of the limited prospect of persuading Ulster Protestants that Irish reunification was in their interests, or consistent with their identities. Northern Ireland was placed under British direct rule in 1972 while counter-insurgency practices applied elsewhere in its diminishing empire were deployed from 1969 with disastrous consequences. On January 1 1973, however, the UK and Ireland joined the then European Economic Community. Many hoped that would help end conflict in and over Northern Ireland. Such hopes were premature. Northern Ireland appeared locked in a stalemate of political violence punctuated by failed political initiatives.


Volume 2: Control
The Second Protestant Ascendancy and the Irish State
List of Figures
List of Maps
List of Tables
List of Boxes
Abbreviations and Glossary
1 Conceptual Conspectus: Control
2 Not an Inch: Gaining Control in the North, 1919-1939
3 Digesting Decolonization: From Declared to Undeclared Republic, 1919-1940
4 The Unexpected Stabilization of Control: The Second World War and its Aftermath, 1940-1957
5 Losing Control, 1958-1972
6 British Intervention: The Politics of Embarrassment, 1969-1972


Brendan O'Leary is the Lauder Professor of Political Science at the University of Pennsylvania and World Leading Researcher Visiting Professor of Political Science at Queen's University Belfast. He is the inaugural winner of the Juan Linz Prize of the International Political Science Association for lifetime contributions to the study of federalism, democratization, and multinational states, and was recently elected an Honorary Member of the Royal Irish Academy and to Membership of the US Council on Foreign Relations. Educated in Northern Ireland, Oxford, and the London School of Economics & Political Science he advised parties and governments during and after the making of the Good Friday Agreement. His extensive publications include Power-Sharing in Deeply Divided Places (co-editor, University of Pennsylvania Press, 2013), The Northern Ireland Conflict (OUP, 2004), and Explaining Northern Ireland (co-author, Blackwell, 1995).