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Critical Engagement: Irish Republicanism, Memory Politics and Policing

Published onSep 01, 2018
Critical Engagement: Irish Republicanism, Memory Politics and Policing
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Critical Engagement

This book is an in-depth case study of the role memory politics played in shaping the wider Irish republican debate on policing in Northern Ireland. Looking beyond sensationalist headlines and political sound bites that trumpeted of the historicity of Sinn Fein’s decision to formally endorse policing and the rule of law, it interrogates the fundamental questions that lie at the heart of Irish republican memory politics on policing. Locating itself within the interdisciplinary theoretical spheres of critical criminology, memory studies and transitional justice, this book evidences how the past frames internal tensions within the Irish republican constituency as those traditionally opposed to state policing structures opt to buy into these same structures as part of a wider transitional process. Based on interview data drawn from community activists, political activists and former combatants from across a broad spectrum within modern Irish republicanism, this book examines how individual and collective memories of policing shape ideological positions, interpretations of transitional processes, ‘moving on’ processes with former enemies and views of post-conflict police reform. Providing a timely insight into intra-communal memory contestation in Northern Ireland, the book establishes the intrinsic importance that collective memory and master narratives of struggle, injustice and sacrifice hold for competing hegemons who are struggling for supremacy within an increasingly fragmented Irish republican constituency today.


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