Use this URL to cite or link to this record in EThOS: http://ethos.bl.uk/OrderDetails.do?uin=uk.bl.ethos.602592
Title: The political culture of the Belfast labour movement, 1924-39
Author: Loughlin, Christopher John Victor
Awarding Body: Queen's University Belfast
Current Institution: Queen's University Belfast
Date of Award: 2013
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Abstract:
Labour politics in twentieth-century Northern Ireland has often been interpreted as a 'failure' and this has been explained as indicative of the lack of saliency of class to identity in Northern Ireland. Through usage of the concept of 'political culture' this thesis examines the Belfast labour movement between 1924 and 1939. The thesis addresses the national question, electoral politics, trade-unionism, unemployment, ideology and concludes with a comparative chapter on the inter-war Labour Parties in Belfast and Liverpool. It argues that the Belfast labour movement did not fail as comprehensively as previous analysis has claimed. The city's labour movement succeeded in becoming a legitimate component of civil society, despite an unsympathetic government and wider society. The thesis makes use of electoral sociology, political science and historical methodologies. Belfast Labour, like much contemporary European left-wing politics, failed to analyse nationalism coherently. Working-class political organisations in Belfast did have a significant electoral appeal, but were fundamentally undermined by their lack of access to political power in Northern Ireland. The Special Powers Act (1922) and Trade Disputes Act (1927) placed important constraints on the development of trade unionism in Belfast. Members of the labour movement organised and campaigned against unemployment in the city. The movement in Belfast adopted political positions-on fascism, social reform and gender-which were similar to contemporaneous European movements. The labour movements of inter-war Liverpool and Belfast shared similar problems, but the different national context of each city meant sectarianism continued to be dominant in the latter city. Despite the limited achievements of labour in Belfast, the legislative context dominance of sectarianism and partition prevented it from becoming a significant political force in Belfast between 1924 and 1939.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID: uk.bl.ethos.602592  DOI: Not available
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