Paramilitary loyalism

Identity and change

By Richard Reed

Paramilitary loyalism

Book Information

  • Format: Hardcover
  • ISBN: 978-0-7190-9530-6
  • Pages: 264
  • Publisher: Manchester University Press
  • Price: £80.00
  • Published Date: July 2015
  • BIC Category: Terrorism, armed struggle, Political activism, HISTORY / Europe / Great Britain, Politics, POLITICAL SCIENCE / Terrorism, Humanities / British & Irish history, Society & social sciences / Political activism


This book takes a provocative second look at paramilitary loyalism, charting the evolution of the loyalist identity through more than forty years of conflict and peace. Based on extensive documentary and oral evidence from former combatants, politicians and key interlocutors, it assesses this journey through the lens of a model of identity taken from a range of academic disciplines. With its focus on drawing out the defining humanity - in its positive and negative guises - of the loyalist experience, the book tells a story that traces a line from the chaotic, violent birth of the paramilitaries in the late 1960s and early 1970s to the challenges facing the organisations in the post-conflict landscape.

The book will be of interest to a wide range of audiences, including students and scholars of Irish studies, terrorism and extremism, peace and conflict studies, criminology, psychology and political sociology, as well as the educated general reader seeking a closer understanding of loyalist paramilitarism or the role of identity in provoking and sustaining conflict.


Introduction: Contradictions
1. Identity: Framing the discussion
2. Inception: Paramilitary mobilisation, 1965 to 1972
3. Divergence: Politicos and militants, 1972 to 1988
4. Fracture: Accords and violence, 1988 to 2007
5. Transformation: Prepared for peace
6. Stasis: Ready for war
7. Abroad: Loyalism in comparative context
Conclusion: Shades of grey
Selected Bibliography


Richard Reed is an Independent Scholar and a former Visiting Research Fellow in the School of History and Anthropology, Queen's University, Belfast

Newsletter Sign Up

Manchester University Press

Your cart is empty.

Select your shipping destination to estimate postage costs

(Based on standard shipping costs)

Final cost calculated on checkout
Promotional codes can be added on Checkout