From State Terrorism to Petty Harassment: A Multi-Method Approach to Understanding Repression of Irish Republicans

Robert W. White

Abstract


Beginning in 1969, the Provisional Irish Republican Army conducted a paramilitary campaign designed to unite Northern Ireland with the Republic of Ireland, creating a 32 county democratic socialist republic. The Provisional IRA’s campaign officially ended in 2005, but former Provisionals and others who followed them continue to pursue armed struggle to this day. The Provisional IRA and its successors are part of the centuries old and highly documented “resistance” of Irish people to British interference in Ireland. Over those centuries, state authorities ‒ the British, Irish, and Northern Irish governments ‒ have “resisted” the dissent of Irish Republicans. This paper draws on three different research methodologies available to social scientists ‒ counts of events that inform quantitative analyses, intensive interviews/oral histories, and visual sociology ‒ and argues that a multi-method approach will provide a better understanding of the dynamics of “resistance” in Ireland and, more generally, social protest.

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DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.13128/SIJIS-2239-3978-20750



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