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Title: A strategic analysis of loyalist paramilitaries in Northern Ireland
Author: Harris, Lyndsey Marie Naomi
Awarding Body: University of Ulster
Current Institution: Ulster University
Date of Award: 2008
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Substantial material is published annually on the so-called ‘Troubles’ of Northern Ireland. However, there remains a large gap for academic analysis of Loyalist paramilitaries and more specifically how they have used their military instrument. Indeed, a survey of the literature to-date revealed that the subject is frequently addressed in a journalistic manner and, consequently, this approach can be sensationalist. Approaches to the academic understanding of Loyalist terrorist organisations habitually originate from the sociological or psychological disciplines; whilst these methodologies have made significant steps forward in the addressing the limited material available, there is a need for a re-interpretation of Loyalism – one that employs a synthetic method. This thesis offers an evaluation of the two main Loyalist terrorist organisations, The Ulster Defence Association (UDA) and Ulster Volunteer Force (UVF), using a strategic theory framework. Drawing from empirical data, this investigation examines the campaign of strategic terrorism employed by the UDA and UVF. Significantly, this study identifies the value systems of both organisations and examines their interpretations of the political environment in Northern Ireland. It reveals how Loyalists have used both military and political signals to achieve their desired ends. An examination of the UDA’s and UVF’s campaign of strategic terrorism exposes the successes in being able to create disorientation and achieve to, a certain extent, its desired target response. Ultimately, this thesis argues, the campaign of strategic terrorism fails in securing legitimacy from within Loyalist communities.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available