Book

From Partition to Brexit: The Irish Government and Northern Ireland

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Manchester University Press, 2018

From Partition to Brexit: The Irish Government and Northern Ireland  is the first book to chart the political and ideological evolution of Irish government policy towards Northern Ireland from the partition of the country in 1921 to the present day. Based on extensive original research, this groundbreaking work assesses the achievements and failures of successive Dublin administrations, evaluating the obstacles they faced and the strategies used to overcome them. Challenging the idea that Dublin has pursued a consistent set of objectives and policies towards Northern Ireland, this timely study reveals a dynamic story of changing priorities. The picture that emerges is one of complex and sometimes contradictory processes underpinning the Irish government’s approach to the conflict.

Drawing on extensive archival research and interviews, the author explores and explains the gap between the rhetorical objective of Irish unity and actual priorities, such as stability within Northern Ireland and the security of the Irish state. The book explains why attempts during the 1990s to manage the conflict in Northern Ireland ultimately proved successful when previous efforts had floundered. Identifying key evolutionary trends, From Partition to Brexit demonstrates how in its relations with the British Government, Dublin has been transformed from spurned supplicant to vital partner in determining Northern Ireland’s future, a partnership jeopardised by Britain’s decision to leave the European Union.

Informed, robust and innovative, From Partition to Brexit is essential reading for anyone interested in Irish or British history and politics, and will appeal to students of diplomacy, international relations and conflict studies.

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