Protestant Unionists and Loyalists

Lee A. Smithey

in Unionists, Loyalists, and Conflict Transformation in Northern Ireland

Published in print August 2011 | ISBN: 9780195395877
Published online September 2011 | e-ISBN: 9780199914470 | DOI:

Series: Studies in Strategic Peacebuilding

Protestant Unionists and Loyalists

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This chapter provides historical background on conflict in Northern Ireland and details the development of the peace process and the social and political circumstances in which unionists and loyalists often feel alienated. Common typologies of unionism are presented, and the author proposes that attention should be focused on a range of voluntary organizations or “grassroots unionism,” to discover how unionists can move from what Aughey describes as “cultural unionism” toward Porter’s vision of a “civic unionism” that prioritizes quality of social and economic life and the importance of developing a strong civil society. Similarly shifts from Ulster loyalism to new loyalism are identified. Religion is identified as a significant factor in the social construction of difference.

Keywords: conflict; history; loyalism; Northern Ireland; politics; religion; unionism

Chapter.  11038 words.  Illustrated.

Subjects: Religious Studies

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