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Title: Developing cohesion in non-state militaries : a case study of the Provisional IRA
Author: Finnegan, Patrick
Awarding Body: University of Exeter
Current Institution: University of Exeter
Date of Award: 2017
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This work is based on the belief that the Provisional IRA developed its combat effectiveness through enhancing its small-unit effectiveness. Although PIRA ultimately failed in its objective to reunify Ireland, it successfully waged a thirty-year long campaign against the British military. The current state of terrorism studies does not explain how this was possible. It can explain the development of PIRA’s strategy, membership type and weapons used but it lacks sufficient explanation of small-unit dynamics. By drawing on the ideas of Huntington and King, among others, this work argues that PIRA successfully professionalised its small-unit tactics and this was the source of its increased effectiveness. By examining changes in structure, training, specialisation, motivation and identity it will be possible to demonstrate whether professionalism did have an effect. Ultimately, the findings of this research will provide an example for others to follow in their efforts to understand past and present terror threats.
Supervisor: King, Anthony ; Porter, Patrick Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available
Keywords: Cohesion ; Terrorism ; Northern Ireland ; Irish Republican Army ; Military Sociology ; Political Violence