1st Edition

Irish Republican Counterpublic Armed Struggle and the Construction of a Radical Nationalist Community in Northern Ireland, 1969-1998

Edited By Dieter Reinisch, Anne Kane Copyright 2023
    174 Pages 5 B/W Illustrations
    by Routledge

    174 Pages 5 B/W Illustrations
    by Routledge

    This volume examines the critical factors and processes by which the Provisional Irish Republican movement campaign from 1969 to 1998 transformed a once acquiescent nationalist population in Northern Ireland into a counterpublic of resistance demanding national self-determination and social justice. Considering the establishment of Irish Republican community institutions, prison protests, Republican Feminism, and Provisional IRA media and communications, this volume explores the emergence of Republicanism as a mass social movement in the nationalist Catholic ghettos and rural regions of Northern Ireland in the 1970s – a development that helped to sustain the armed struggle of the Provisional Irish Republican Army for three decades. An examination of the emergence and transformative power of the counterpublic discourse and action of the Irish Republican movement, this volume provides a framework for conceptualizing counterpublics in social movement studies. As such it will appeal to scholars of sociology, history, and politics with interests in social movements and mobilization.

    1 Introduction

    Social Movements and Counterpublics: the Northern Irish Republican Movement, 1969-1998

    Dieter Reinisch and Anne Kane

    2 The Northern Ireland Republican Movement and Counterpublic Construction, 1969-1976

    Anne Kane

    3 Irish Republican Counterpublics and Media Activism since the Troubles

    Stephen Goulding and Paddy Hoey

    4 Troubled Mothers: The Mobilization of Republican Motherhood during the Northern Ireland Conflict

    Miren Mohrenweiser

    5 The Republican Counterpublic in the H-Blocks, 1983-89

    Dieter Reinisch

    6 The Prisoners’ Support Campaign: How Hunger Strikes Facilitated the Counterpublic

    F. Stuart Ross

    7 Commentary

    Lorenzo Bosi


    Dieter Reinisch is a Government of Ireland Irish Research Council Postdoctoral Researcher in the School of Political Science and Sociology, National University of Ireland in Galway, and an Adjunct Professor in International Relations at Webster University, Vienna. He is the author of Learning Behind Bars: How IRA Prisoners shaped the Peace Process in Ireland (2022) and Performing Memory: Corporeality, Visuality, and Mobility after 1968, co-edited with Luisa Passerini (2023).

    Anne Kane retired as Associate Professor of Sociology, University of Houston Downtown, and is a Faculty Fellow at the Yale Center for Cultural Sociology. Her book, Constructing Irish Nationalist Identity: Ritual and Discourse during the Land War, 1879–1882, was published in 2011.

    "Scholars still know relatively little about the communities of support that stand behind the more visible face of movement activism. In this fascinating volume, the authors show that Northern Irish Republicans’ thirty-year struggle for independence was sustained by a 'counterpublic' forged in tenants associations, prison protests, local broadsheets, street art, and mothers’ support committees. Deeply researched and elegantly argued, the volume provides a genuinely new perspective on the ideas and institutions that fuel movements." -Francesca Polletta, Chancellor's Professor of Sociology, University of California, Irvine

    "Organizing its detailed, highly innovative empirical investigations around concepts of counterpublic and civil sphere, this volume makes a critical theoretical intervention. Its publication is a major event, not only for studies of Irish Republican resistance but for social movement studies more broadly." -Jeffrey C. Alexander, Lillian Chavenson Saden Professor of Sociology, Yale University