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Title: Brian Faulkner : success or failure? : a political biography
Author: Foy, Jason
Awarding Body: Queen's University Belfast
Current Institution: Queen's University Belfast
Date of Award: 2013
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This thesis is an evaluation of the political career of Brian Faulkner, the last Prime Minister of Northern Ireland, and assessment of its successes and failures. A comprehensive survey of Faulkner has not been produced since his 1978 autobiography. The research traces Faulkner's upbringing and education and identifies the factors which shaped his personality and, later, his political life. The thesis examines the origins of Faulkner's political career and the steps he took to prepare the ground for his entry into politics. It surveys his election to the Northern Ireland House of Commons in 1949 and his rise through the ranks of the Unionist Party. It evaluates his performance in the key cabinet roles of Minister of Home Affairs, Commerce and Development. During these crucial years, Faulkner established himself as an energetic and competent executive but also as a divisive figure within the Unionist Party. His dysfunctional relationship with Prime Minister Terence O'Neill is examined in detail as well as the impact this would have on the stability of the Northern Ireland Government. Faulkner's successes and failures during his short Prime Ministerial term between 1971 and 1972 are set in context and assessed in depth - the failure of his attempts to reform the Stormont system, the introduction of internment and the collapse of the Northern Ireland Government in March 1972. His political revival and instrumental role in the establishment of the power sharing Executive of 1974 are set against its downfall in the midst of the Ulster Worker's Council strike. Faulkner's errors of judgement at Sunningdale are revisited in an assessment of the period. The research sets Faulkner's political career in context and concludes that, while his career ended in failure, . he showed considerable foresight and determination in achieving his most cherished political objective - the preservation of the union.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available