Troubled Silences: Political Conflict and Everyday Nationalism in Northern Ireland

Project Description

This project explores what is a relatively under-researched area in the study of post-war Irish nationalism – namely, the changing nature of Northern Irish constitutional nationalists’ identity. In particular, it looks at the influence that the eruption of the conflict had on grassroots nationalists’ political self-understandings.

The research will approach the area of changing national identity by asking, firstly, how differences in generational and geographical location provided lenses through which nationalists made sense of the escalating violence. Secondly, it explores the question of to what extent early interpretations of the conflict shaped and constrained later narrative understandings – particularly, nationalists’ interpretations of key ideological concepts such as national reunification and equality of opportunity.

The project builds on previous research conducted in IBIS concerning the close connections between the constitution of communal identity and historical narratives and intersects with emerging debates regarding how governments and civil society works with the legacies of violent conflict.