Preaching to the Choir? An Analysis of DUP Discourses about the Northern Ireland Peace Process

Gladys Ganiel*

*Corresponding author for this work

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

    16 Citations (Scopus)


    This article analyses the Democratic Unionist Party's (DUP) discursive responses to the Northern Ireland peace process. Drawing on narrative analysis of DUP discourses in the Belfast News Letter (1998–2005), it argues that the party has articulated five themes: the de‐legitimisation of David Trimble and the Ulster Unionist Party, the immorality of the peace process, the security threat, the victimisation of Protestants, and the ‘renegotiation’ of the Belfast Agreement. These discourses are analysed in light of a framework for understanding the relationship between the party's public discourses and the political strategies that have allowed for its electoral success. The framework includes the relationship between discourses, agenda‐setting in the media, ‘the politics of support’, and ‘the politics of power’. It considers how the DUP's discourses may impact on its relationships with nationalists and unionists. However, efforts by the DUP to communicate with the unionist grassroots may allow it to minimise alienation, thus contributing to a space in which principles such as power‐sharing can become bedded down.
    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)303-320
    Number of pages18
    JournalIrish Political Studies
    Issue number3
    Early online date19 Sept 2007
    Publication statusPublished - 2007


    • Religion
    • Northern Ireland

    ASJC Scopus subject areas

    • General Social Sciences


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