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Title: "Masters in our own house" : Ulster nationalist political thought 1945-85
Author: Watson, Garry
Awarding Body: Queen's University Belfast
Current Institution: Queen's University Belfast
Date of Award: 2012
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Abstract:
Despite the fact that many Northern Ireland Protestants themselves would appear to see little inconsistency in professing an oppositional politics undergirded by subjective notions of ethno-cultural particularity - whilst denying the claims of an Irish Nationalism couched in similarly essentialist language - a curious feature of political historiography has been the notable reluctance of some Unionist activists and academic commentators to ascribe ideological significance to the role of an ethno-nationalist 'turn' in Northern Ireland politics. As a corrective to such neglect this thesis sets out to recover the ideological significance of modern Ulster nationalist politics. Charting the historical trajectory of an idea which, in its most developed form, would lead exponents to conclude that in the final analysis, Northern Ireland's interests could be safeguarded only within the institutional context of an independent Ulster state, this study will seek to account for not only the - episodic recurrence of such stratagems at various junctures in Northern Ireland history, but the often imperceptive and diffuse influence of Ulster nationalist ideas on local political discourse more generally. Covering a period of some forty years, from the first systematic exposition of that doctrine in the form of post-war intra-Unionist debates on Dominion status through to the UDA's 'reeling back' from its hitherto enthusiastic support for an independent Ulster state in the wake of 1985' s Anglo- Irish Agreement, this study endeavours to show that notwithstanding the relatively weak political tradition of Ulster independence, the recurrence of ethno-nationalist motifs within Unionist discourse more than attests to the affective salience of this frequently neglected, yet potentially illuminating, interpretative idiom.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID: uk.bl.ethos.580112  DOI: Not available
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