The discourse of nationalists in Northern Ireland, 1921-1991

  • Gerard McKeever

Student thesis: Doctoral ThesisDoctor of Philosophy


The lack of analytical research on northern nationalism stems from a number of reasons including lack of available sources and shortcomings in the areas of Northern Ireland studies, Nationalism and Ideology
Rejecting a reductionist approach of either the structuralist or culturalist variety, this study undertakes an examination of northern nationalism as a process of articulation. Having identified the four main thematic elements of Catholic Interest, Nation- State, Labour-Welfare and Civil Rights/Human Rights politics as articulated through institutions or organisations since 1921, the study then looks in greater details at specific case studies, drawing on various aspects of social theory, especially structuration theory.

In particular, the study looks at how different thematic elements were articulated together by individuals and organisations. By looking at often neglected aspects, such as ' time 1 and strategy', a new understanding of northern nationalism is arrived at.

The study argues that many existing approaches give, a best, only a partial understanding of northern nationalism. It concludes that by placing the knowledgeable agent at the centre of an understanding of northern nationalism, a clearer indication is arrived at of how change takes place within themes which
display structural properties
Date of AwardJul 1993
Original languageEnglish
Awarding Institution
  • Queen's University Belfast

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