UCD John Hume Institute for Global Irish Studies 
UCD John Hume Institute for Global Irish StudiesUCD Crest


National group boundaries in conflict situations: Northern Ireland and the Basque Country. Definitions, evolutions, instrumentalisations and effects.

Supervised by Professor Jennifer Todd, UCD School of Politics and International Relations, and Professor Laura Lee Downs, Ecole des Hautes Etudes en Sciences Sociales (EHESS), Paris,

The aim of this research is to study the question of instrumentalisation of the theme of 'national identity' by the political elites throughout the recent conflicts in Northern Ireland and in the Basque Country, from 1960 to today. The major hypotheses are that the definitions and conceptions of 'national identity' by the political protagonists can be transformed very quickly in time, and that they are instrumentalised to serve political purposes. Identity strategies compete with social strategies, and interact with the other groups conceptions and parties' objectives and strategies, which can generate dynamics of conflict.