Aaron Edwards

in A History of the Northern Ireland Labour Party

Published by Manchester University Press

Published in print March 2009 | ISBN: 9780719078743
Published online July 2012 | e-ISBN: 9781781702390 | DOI:

Show Summary Details


This book reviews the historical record of the Northern Ireland Labour Party (NILP), an understudied and poorly understood phenomenon in Irish political studies. It also questions the orthodox narrative of that party's political fortunes throughout the twentieth century, by arguing that the NILP has suffered from an unfair critique in the scholarly literature. The growing entanglement of the NILP's ideological strands eventually led to dramatic fluctuations in the party's political fortunes. The NILP represented a genuine attempt by Protestants and Catholics to pursue common class interests above and beyond ethnic and religious ones. The competing national identity aspirations of most Protestants and Catholics proved irreconcilable. The NILP's uniqueness in a society divided along ethnic, national, cultural and class lines is only surprising when viewed within the traditional paradigm of Western understanding of political parties as static products of the late nineteenth to the mid-twentieth centuries.

Keywords: Northern Ireland Labour Party; Protestants; Catholics; national identity; political parties

Chapter.  3048 words. 

Subjects: UK Politics

Full text: subscription required

How to subscribe Recommend to my Librarian

Users without a subscription are not able to see the full content. Please, subscribe or login to access all content.