Troubles of the past?

History, identity and collective memory in Northern Ireland

Edited by James McAuley, Máire Braniff and Graham Spencer

Troubles of the past?


  • eBook

Book Information

  • Format: Hardcover
  • ISBN: 978-1-5261-5419-4
  • Pages: 280
  • Publisher: Manchester University Press
  • Price: £90.00
  • Published Date: January 2023
  • BIC Category: Society & social sciences / Sociology, Irish History, Irish Studies, Sociology, RELIGION / Religious Intolerance, Persecution & Conflict, HISTORY / Europe / Ireland, SOCIAL SCIENCE / Sociology / General, Northern Ireland, Humanities / British & Irish history


This collection brings together academics and practitioners to consider the increasingly central role that memory and recalling the past plays in determining contemporary politics and the future direction of Northern Irish society. Using theoretical, comparative and case-study approaches, it considers not only how narratives of the past are constructed, reconstructed, understood and commemorated, but also the ways in which the key themes that emerge are harnessed and mobilised to political and social effect in the present. The book draws deeply on a wide range of expert opinion and viewpoints to add significantly to existing knowledge surrounding the debates over memory and the ways it is used in Northern Irish society.


Introduction: through a single lens? Understanding the Troubles of the past, present and future - James W. McAuley, Máire Braniff and Graham Spencer
1 Agonistic remembering and Northern Ireland's 1968 @ 50 - Chris Reynolds
2 Pogroms, presence, myth and memory: August 1969 and the outbreak of the Northern Ireland conflict - Shaun McDaid
3 'Touching the third rail?' The problems of dealing with the past in Northern Ireland - Eamonn O'Kane
4 On notions of dealing with the past in Northern Ireland and the place of historians - Stuart Aveyard
5 Collective memory, ethno-national forgetting and the limits of history in misremembering the past - Aaron Edwards
6 Irish republicanisms and radical nostalgia - Stephen Hopkins
7 Irish republican commemoration and narratives of legitimacy - Kris Brown
8 Ulster loyalism, memory and commemoration - James W. McAuley and Neil Ferguson
9 Remember the women: memory-making within loyalism - Lisa Faulkner-Byrne, John Bell and Philip McCready
10 Visual memory at sites of troubles past: participatory and collective memories in Croatia and Argentina - Máire Braniff
11 The tears of the mothers: conflict and memory in comparison - Catherine McGlynn
12 The problem of legacy and remembering the past in Northern Ireland - Graham Spencer


James W. McAuley is Professor of Political Sociology and Irish Studies at the University of Huddersfield.

Máire Braniff is a Senior Lecturer in Politics at Ulster University. From 2016-2018 she served as Director of INCORE (International Conflict Research Institute).

Graham Spencer is Reader in Social and Political Conflict at the University of Portsmouth. He is a Distinguished Senior Research Fellow, at the Edward M. Kennedy Institute for Conflict Intervention, NUI, Maynooth, Ireland, a Visiting Fellow, John McCormack Graduate School of Policy and Global Studies, University of Massachusetts, Boston, USA and as a Visiting Fellow, Northumbria University.

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