Peering in from the window ledge of the Union: The Anglo-Irish Agreement and the attempt to bring British Conservatism to Northern Ireland


Coulter, Colin (2013) Peering in from the window ledge of the Union: The Anglo-Irish Agreement and the attempt to bring British Conservatism to Northern Ireland. Irish Studies Review, 21 (4). pp. 406-424. ISSN 0967-0882

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Abstract

n this article I examine one particular way in which the Anglo-Irish Agreement redefined unionist politics in the late 1980s. While the operation of “direct rule” had drawn the unionist middle classes ever closer to Britain in economic and cultural terms, it had also left them in a precarious position politically. The nature and scale of this political subservience was brought home dramatically in 1985 when the British government signed an international agreement giving the Dublin government the right to be consulted on Northern Irish affairs. In the period of political flux summoned by the Hillsborough Accord, elements of the unionist middle classes were drawn to the previously marginal ideas of a small leftist organisation that argued for the British political parties to organise in the region. Given the material interests and social conservatism of those attracted to it, the call for “equal citizenship” would inevitably take the form primarily of a movement seeking to bring British Conservatism to Northern Ireland.

Item Type: Article
Keywords: Ulster Unionism; Anglo-Irish Agreement; direct rule; Conservative Party; British and Irish Communist Organisation;
Academic Unit: Faculty of Social Sciences > Sociology
Item ID: 8990
Identification Number: 10.1080/09670882.2013.846689
Depositing User: Colin Coulter
Date Deposited: 13 Nov 2017 16:42
Journal or Publication Title: Irish Studies Review
Publisher: Taylor & Francis
Refereed: Yes
URI:

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