Changing Direction:The Irish Republican Movement’s Decision to End Abstention
Keatings, Trisha Maria 1987-
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From the beginning, the Irish Republican Movement (IRM) had upheld a commitment to abstaining from taking elected seats in what were viewed as illegitimate government institutions. This commitment, coupled with the use of armed conflict to achieve their stated goals, can be viewed as founding pillars to their strategy for ousting the British from Ireland. In 1986, the abstention policy was abandoned amidst a decades-long war with the British known as the Troubles. This thesis explores the following questions: why did the IRM end abstention during the Troubles and what role did this period of time have in that decision? It is concluded that this decision was the means to realign the IRM’s biographical narrative with the movement’s practices and therefore maintain its ontological security, or stable sense of self. A number of critical events during the Troubles brought this tension between identity and practice into stark contrast. It is argued this tension was alleviated by the ending of the abstention policy and participation in established political processes.
DegreeMaster of Arts (M.A.)
SupervisorGaal, Martin; Michelmann, Hans
CommitteeNeil, Hibbert; Deonandan, Kalowatie; Rayner, Jeremy
Copyright DateOctober 2017