A Political Psychology of Conflict: The Case of Northern Ireland
The zeitgeist influencing much contemporary psychology and wider scholarly thought is one that individualises political processes. This is particularly the case when we attempt to understand political violence and conflict. Those engaged in political violence, or even affected by it, are often represented by Western media at least, as terrorists, criminals or mentally unstable (Horgan, 2003; Pupavac, 2004). Drawing on theory and research from political psychology, here we set out to demonstrate that macro-social and collective processes are crucial to any analysis of political violence and conflict. Indeed the individualisation of the problem can and often is in itself a political act (Pupavac, 2004).
KeywordsSocial Identity Political Violence Social Identity Theory Armed Group Intergroup Relation
Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.
- Agreement (1998) The Agreement Reached in Multiparty Negotiations. Belfast: HMSO.Google Scholar
- Allport, G. W. (1954) The Nature of Prejudice. Reading, MA: Addison-Wesley.Google Scholar
- Brewer, M. B. (2001) ‘In-Group Identification and Intergroup Conflict: When Does In-Group Love Become Out-Group Hate?’ In: Ashmore, R., Jussim, L. and Wilder, D. eds. Social Identity, Intergroup Conflict and Conflict Reduction. New York: Oxford University Press.Google Scholar
- Brewer, M. B. and Miller, N. (1984) ‘Beyond the Contact Hypothesis: Theoretical Perspectives on Desegregation’. In: Miller, N. and Brewer, M. B. eds. Groups in Contact: The Psychology of Desegregation. New York: Academic Press.Google Scholar
- Burgess, M., Ferguson, N. and Hollywood, I. (2005a) ‘Violence begets violence: Drawing ordinary civilians into the cycle of military intervention and violent resistance’. Australasian Journal of Human Security, 1(1): 41–52.Google Scholar
- Burgess, M., Ferguson, N. and Hollywood, I. (2005b) ‘A social psychology of defiance: From discontent to action’. In: Sönser-Breen, M. ed. Minding Evil: Explorations of Human Iniquity. Amsterdam/New York: Rodolpi.Google Scholar
- Cairns, E. and Hewsone, M. (2005) Pride, Northern Ireland: In-group Pride and Out-group Prejudice. Accessed from: http://www.esrc.ac.uk/_images/seven_deadly_sins_tcm8-13545.pdf.
- Darby, J. (1997) Scorpions in a Bottle: Conflicting Cultures in Northern Ireland. London: Minority Rights Publications.Google Scholar
- Department of Education Northern Ireland (2009) Accessed from: http://www.deni.gov.uk/index/85-schools/10-types_of_school-nischools_pg/16-schools-integratedschools_pg.htm. [30 December 2009].
- Fahey, T., Hayes, B. C. and Sinnott, R. (2005) ‘Conflict and Consensus: A Study of Values and Attitudes in the Republic and Ireland and Northern Ireland’. Dublin: Institute of Public Administration.Google Scholar
- Fay, M. T., Morissey, M. and Smyth, M. (1998) Northern Ireland’s Troubles: The Human Costs. London: Pluto.Google Scholar
- Ferguson, N. (2009) ‘The Impact of political violence on moral reasoning: Socio-political reasoning in Northern Ireland’. In: Scuzzarello, S., Kinnvall, C. and Monroe, K. R. eds. On Behalf of Others: The Morality of Care in a Global World. Oxford: Oxford University Press.Google Scholar
- Ferguson, N. and Burgess, M. (2009) ‘From Naivety to Insurgency: The Causes and Consequences of Joining a Northern Irish Paramilitary Group’. In: Canter, D. ed. Faces of Terrorism: Cross-Disciplinary Explorations. Chichester, UK: Wiley.Google Scholar
- Ferguson, N., Burgess, M. and Hollywood, I. (2008) ‘Crossing the Rubicon: Deciding to become a paramilitary in Northern Ireland’. International Journal of Conflict and Violence, 2(1): 130–137.Google Scholar
- Finn, G. P. T. (1997) ‘Qualitative Analysis of Murals in Northern Ireland: Paramilitary Justifications for Political Violence’. In: Hayes, N. ed. Doing Qualitative Analysis in Psychology. East Sussex: Psychology press.Google Scholar
- Gaertner, S. L., Rust, M. C., Dovidio, J. F., Bachman, B. A. and Anastasio, P. A. (1996) ‘The Contact Hypothesis: The Role of a Common Ingroup Identity on Reducing Intergroup Bias Among Majority and Minority Group Members’. In: Nye, J. L. and Brower, A. M. eds. What’s Social about Social Cognition? Newbury Park, CA: Sage.Google Scholar
- Gallagher, C. and Hanratty, A. (1989) ‘The war on the walls’. Ulster Folklife, 35: 100–108.Google Scholar
- Hamber, B. (2005) ‘Blocks to the Future’: A Pilot Study into the Psychological Impact of the ’No Wash/Blanket’ Prisoner Protest. Derry: Cunamh.Google Scholar
- Hewstone, M. and Brown, R. J. (1986) ‘Contact is not Enough: An Intergroup Perspective on the “Contact Hypothesis”’. In: Hewstone, M. and Brown, R. eds. Contact and Conflict in Intergroup Encounters. Oxford: Basil Blackwell.Google Scholar
- Horgan, J. (2003) ‘The search for the terrorist personality’. In: Silke, A. ed. Psychological Perspectives on Terrorism and its Consequences. Chichester, UK: John Wiley & Sons.Google Scholar
- Kremer, J. M. D. (1999) ‘Combating Workplace Harassment: A Tripartite Approach’. Annual Conference of the British Psychological Society. Belfast (Abstract, proceedings of the BPS 7, 2, 132).Google Scholar
- Lazarus, R. S. and Folkman, S. (1984) Stress, Appraisal and Coping. New York: Springer.Google Scholar
- Lowe, R. D. and Muldoon, O. T. (2014) ‘Shared National Identification in Northern Ireland: An application of Psychological Models of Group Inclusion Post Conflict’. Group Processes and Intergroup Relations. DOI: 10.1177/1368430214525808.Google Scholar
- Mac Ginty, R. and Darby, J. (2002) Guns and Government: The Management of the Northern Ireland Peace Process. Basingstoke: Palgrave.Google Scholar
- Mulcahy, A. (2006) Policing Northern Ireland: Conflict, Legitimacy and Reform. Portland, OR: Willan Publishing.Google Scholar
- Northern Ireland Life and Times (2010) Northern Ireland Life and Times Survey 2008. Accessed from: http://www.ark.ac.uk/nilt/2008/.
- Paolini, S., Hewstone, M., Cairns, E. and Voci, A. (2004) ‘Effects of direct and indirect cross-group friendships on judgements of Catholic and Protestants in Northern Ireland: The mediating role of an anxiety-reduction mechanism’. Personality and Social Psychology Bulletin, 30: 770–786.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
- Purdie, B. (1990) Politics in the Streets. Belfast: The Blackstaff Press.Google Scholar
- Schubotz, D. and McCarten, C. (2008) ‘Cross-community schemes: Participation, motivation, mandate’. Ark Research Update, 55. Available from: www.ark.org.uk.
- Shirlow, P. and McEvoy, K. (2008) Beyond the Wire. Former Prisoners and Conflict Transformation in Northern Ireland. London: Pluto.Google Scholar
- Stringer, M., Wilson, W., Irving, P., Giles, M., McClenahan, C. and Curtis, L. (2000) The Impact of Schooling on the Social Attitudes of Children. Belfast: The Integrated Education Fund.Google Scholar
- Tajfel, H. (1981) Human Groups and Social Categories: Studies in Social Psychology. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.Google Scholar
- Tajfel, H. and Turner, J. C. (1986) ‘The Social Identity Theory of Intergroup Behaviour’. In: Worchel, S. and Austin, W. A. eds. Psychology of Intergroup Relations. Chicago: Nelson-Hall.Google Scholar
- Tonge, J. (2005) Northern Ireland. Cambridge, UK: Polity.Google Scholar
- Trew, K. (1986) ‘Catholic and Protestant Contact in Northern Ireland’. In: Hewstone, M. and Brown, R. eds. Contact and Conflict in Intergroup Encounters. Monterey: Brooks/Cole.Google Scholar
- Trew, K. (1989) ‘Evaluating the Impact of Contact Schemes for Catholic and Protestant Children’. In: Harbison, J. ed. Growing up in Northern Ireland. Belfast, Northern Ireland: Learning Resources Unit, Stranmillis College.Google Scholar
- Trew, K. (1998) The Northern Irish Identity: A Question of Identity. Aldershot: Ashgate.Google Scholar
- Trew, K. and Benson, D. E. (1996) ‘Dimensions of social identity in Northern Ireland’. In: Breakwell, G. and Lyons, E. eds. Changing European Identities: Social-psychological Analyses of Social Change. Oxford, UK: Butterworth-Heinemann.Google Scholar
- Turner, J. C. (1982) ‘Towards a Cognitive Redefinition of the Social Group’. In: Tajfel, H. ed. Social Identity and Intergroup Relations. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.Google Scholar