Peace or Pacification?
Northern Ireland after the defeat of the IRA. A critical analysis of the Irish peace process.
Often the so-called 'Irish question' is reduced to one of ancestral hatreds, but this timely book following the revenant tensions borne out of Brexit negotiations grounds its study in the context of colonialism, anti-imperialism and liberation struggles. This study demonstrates that 'peace' might not be found in 'justice', and argues instead of a 'peace process' for a 'pacification process'.
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Liam Ó Ruairc has written an important, revelatory analysis of the peace process in Northern Ireland which I am confident will take its place among the best books written about this consequential period in Anglo-Irish history. His underlying thesis is that what has happened in the near thirty years or so since the IRA recognized the southern state and embarked on a journey to constitutionalism is less a peace process and more a pacification process in which the republicans and the British co-operated to drain and enfeeble the vital ideological juices which had sustained resistance to partition for so long. The war in Ireland began with republicans and their allies abroad viewing the NI situation as a relic of British colonialism and ended with the militants accepting that it was really just a struggle over cultural identity; in the process republicans have been drained of their radicalism and now subscribe entirely to the neo-liberalism panacea. It is impossible to read this book and not wonder at the scale of the British triumph. The companion to this book, explaining how British intelligence so completely overwhelmed the IRA, has yet to be written. Until then Ó Ruairc’s fine work will do very nicely. ~ Ed Moloney, former Northern Ireland editor for The Irish Times and The Sunday Tribune, author of: A Secret History of the IRA
Liam Ó Ruairc is one of the most fastidious commentators of the Irish political scene. Whether one agrees or disagrees with his opinion, his work is invariably scrupulously researched and supported evidentially. His book is, therefore, a welcome and valuable contribution to our understanding and analysis of the current political situation in the northern part of Ireland and deserves the wide readership that scholarship of this calibre merits. ~ Tommy McKearney, senior member of the Provisional IRA from the early 1970s until his arrest in 1977, author of: The Provisional IRA
A fascinating and provocative book. Even those who remain unpersuaded by its arguments will benefit from engaging with it. ~ Richard English CBE, Professor at and Pro-Vice-Chancellor Queen's University Belfast, author of Armed Struggle: The History of the IRA
Liam Ó Ruairc is a meticulous research with a particular eye for detail. A most astute observer of the Northern Irish political scene he has with this book brought acute discernment to major aspects of the peace process. This work will stand the test of time. ~ Anthony McIntyre PhD, former IRA prisoner who spent eighteen years in prison, author of Good Friday: The Death of Irish Republicanism
Liam Ó Ruairc's Peace or Pacification? Northern Ireland After the Defeat of the IRA offers an interesting and provocative perspective on the Northern Ireland peace process. Neo-liberals who believe that there has been a "peace dividend" and those who believe that the "revolutionary ideology" of Irish Republicanism has been "de-republicanized" will benefit from Ó Ruairc 's insightful presentation. ~ Robert W. White, author of Out of the Ashes: An Oral History of the Provisional Irish Republican Movement
Liam Ó Ruairc’s stated aim in this book is to present Irish republicanism as part of a wider, international struggle against oppression, injustice and exploitation. In exploring both the historical and contemporary forces that have shaped Irish politics he not only admirably succeeds in that project, but also challenges key aspects of the complacent consensus that has come to dominate public debate on both sides of the border since the late 1990s. By going beyond the mere repetition of worn out shibboleths Ó Ruairc’s account reclaims the ‘universal and emancipatory core’ of republicanism and thus opens up new possibilities for political thought and action in Ireland. ~ Dr. Kevin Bean, Lecturer in Irish Politics, Institute of Irish Studies,University of Liverpool, author of The New Politics of Sinn Féin