Framing the Troubles Online

Northern Irish groups and website strategy

By Paul Reilly

Framing the Troubles Online

Book Information

  • Format: Hardcover
  • ISBN: 978-0-7190-8233-7
  • Pages: 232
  • Publisher: Manchester University Press
  • Price: £85.00
  • Published Date: January 2011
  • BIC Category: Politics, Politics & government, Political parties, POLITICAL SCIENCE / Political Process / Elections, POLITICAL SCIENCE / Political Ideologies / General, Society & social sciences / Political campaigning & advertising, Society & social sciences / Political activism, Society & social sciences / Political parties


Can the Internet really make a difference for groups who wish to either support or challenge a peace process? This book explores the ways in which civil and uncivil groups in Northern Ireland use the Internet during a period of conflict transformation, with a particular emphasis on their framing of their positions in respect of the acceptability of political violence and their attitudes to the peace process. In this way it represents the first comparative study of how Loyalist and Republican ideologies are projected in the online sphere. The book considers whether there are any qualitative differences between the online framing of terrorist-linked groups and the constitutional parties in the region. These research issues are addressed through the analysis of Loyalist and Republicans websites in 2004 and 2005, a period before the advent of Web 2.0 in which these websites were the only visible presence of these actors in cyberspace. The book concludes by considering the implications of these website strategies for community relations in Northern Ireland today. The websites of rival residents' groups are examined to determine whether the Internet is a safe environment in which these groups can foster better cross-community relations, and perhaps even bridging social capital, across sectarian interfaces. This book will be of interest to students and scholars of political communication, Northern Ireland, the Internet and civil society.


1. The Internet, Politics, and Framing Conflict
2. The Peace Frame? Comparing the websites of Northern Irish political fronts and political parties
3. Terrorist Superfans? Loyalist and Republican solidarity actors online
4. Googling Terrorism: How visible are Northern Irish terrorists on the Internet?
5. Competing Victimhoods? The websites of Northern Irish residents' groups
Appendix 1 Selected Chronology of the Northern Irish Peace Process 1985-1997
Appendix 2 Websites no longer available in November 2009
Appendix 3 Website Registration Data for sites used in book
Appendix 4 Northern Irish Terrorist Groups currently proscribed in the United Kingdom.

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