For God and Ulster: Unionist Securitisations and Desecuritisations during the Peace Process in Northern Ireland
Law and Political Science
Full recordShow full item record
AbstractThe Troubles in Northern Ireland have played a prominent part in modern European history. Despite the success of the Peace Process in the 1990s and subsequent stabilisation of the conflict through the introduction of power-sharing and paramilitary decommissioning of weapons, tensions still dominate the province. This thesis uses the Copenhagen School of Security Studies to investigate processes of securitisation and desecuritisation that have taken place in Northern Ireland during the years of the Peace Process, in order to achieve a broader understanding of how key actors can help shape the prospects for lasting peace and stability. Through an analysis of speech acts performed by political and religious leader Ian Paisley between 1993 and 2007, two main securitisations are identified: the institutionalised securitisation of sectarian violence and the securitisation of unionist Ulster. Subsequently, an analysis of social practice identifies the introduction of power-sharing and de-escalation of violence as successful desecuritisations. The information gained through the analysis is further used to discuss whether, in order to be applicable to a wider range of cases, the Copenhagen School must increase its focus on facilitating conditions. Finally, focus is placed on the reconstruction of identities and othering, and how this might mitigate historical animosities and facilitate lasting peace and stability.