Shifting Thresholds, Contested Meanings: Governance, Cross-border Co-operation and the Ulster Unionist Identity

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

    Abstract

    Cross-border (North/South) co-operation between the Republic of Ireland and Northern Ireland was an indelible feature of the form of governance provided by the Belfast Good Friday Agreement (1998). Previous efforts to establish North/South co-operation had all foundered but the establishment and initial operation of the Agreement's cross-border institutions proved to be uncontroversial. However, during its implementation, other areas of the Agreement gave Ulster unionists more pressing cause for concern. These areas of concern included the release of paramilitary prisoners, police reform, the 'decommissioning' of Irish Republican Army (IRA) weaponry, and the unionist perception that the 'Britishness of Northern Ireland' was being actively eroded. These concerns served to emphasise and strengthen political and cultural borders between communities at a regional and local level within Northern Ireland. They also threatened the pro-Agreement unionists' contestation of unionist ideological orthodoxy, a contestation that was undertaken in an attempt to adapt the Ulster unionist identity to the shifting thresholds of the state.
    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)81-103
    Number of pages23
    JournalEuropean Studies - An Interdisciplinary Series in European Culture, History and Politics
    Volume19
    Publication statusPublished - Jun 2003

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