Unfinished business

The politics of 'dissident' Irish republicanism

By Marisa McGlinchey

Unfinished business
Hardcover +
  • Price: £25.00
  • ISBN: 9780719096976
  • Publish Date: Jan 2019
  • Publisher: Manchester University Press
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    Paperback +
  • Price: £25.00
  • ISBN: 9780719096983
  • Publish Date: Jan 2019
  • Publisher: Manchester University Press
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    eBook -
  • Price: £25.00
  • ISBN: 9781526116222
  • Publish Date: Jan 2019
  • Publisher: Manchester University Press
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    Book Information

    • Format: eBook
    • ISBN: 978-1-5261-1622-2
    • Published Date: January 2019


    This book discusses the development of 'dissident' Irish republicanism and considers its impact on politics throughout Ireland since the 1980s. Based on a series of interviews with over ninety radical republican activists from the wide range of groups and currents which make up 'dissident' republicanism, the book provides an up-to-date assessment of the political significance and potential of the groups who continue to oppose the peace process and the Good Friday Agreement. It shows that the 'dissidents' are much more than traditionalist irreconcilables left behind by Gerry Adams' entry into the mainstream. Instead the book suggests that the dynamics and trajectory of 'dissident' republicanism are shaped more by contemporary forces than historical tradition and that by understanding the "dissidents" we can better understand the emerging forms of political challenge in an age of austerity and increasing political instability internationally.


    '"Dissident" Irish republicanism remains a phenomenon of enduring significance. McGlinchey's book draws on extensive interviews with activists, and their vivid expressions of political commitment will be of interest to all scholars and students of this contentious subject.'
    Richard English, Pro-Vice-Chancellor, Queen's University Belfast and author of Armed Struggle: The History of the IRA

    'At a time of renewed Brexit-related political instability in Northern Ireland, McGlinchey has produced a timely and fascinating work. Anyone who has ever asked the question about "dissident" republicans - who are they and what do they think? - will find the answer here. McGlinchey, who started out as an expert on constitutional nationalism, has opened up a new significant area of research.'
    Lord Paul Bew, Professor of Irish Politics, Queen's University Belfast

    'Among some of the most impressive aspects of this kaleidoscopic account of violent dissident Irish republicanism are the primary sources. The author deserves fulsome praise for conducting close to 100 individual interviews with the key actors. This alone is a remarkable feat, but combined with penetrating analysis and objective insight into very controversial subject matter, this book will stand the test of time as a history of one strand of republicanism that still stalks the peace process. Unfinished Business will be hard to match in terms of shining light into the dark corners of the armed republican tradition in Ireland - an illuminating and fascinating read.'
    Henry McDonald, author and Guardian journalist

    'Unfinished business is a timely study on republicanism given the prominence in the news of the least politically thoughtful group of republicans to emerge since the Good Friday Agreement - the New IRA and its cohorts. [...] Doubtless, there will be future books on this very topic but the shoulders of the giant they will stand upon is Unfinished business.'
    Anthony McIntyre, The Pensive Quill, March 2020


    1 Who are the 'dissidents'? Motivations and aspirations: the drawing of the fault lines
    2 The varied strands of 'dissident' republicanism: ideology and disunity
    3 Ceasefires and decommissioning
    4 The Good Friday Agreement and the disruption of 'normalisation'
    5 Current armed republicanism
    6 2007: policing, a step too far
    7 Legitimacy and mandates


    Marisa McGlinchey is Research Fellow in Political Science at the Centre for Trust, Peace and Social Relations at Coventry University

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