Preserving Peace and Maintaining Order, 1968–1978
Constructions and perceptions of identity are an undeniable part of the most recent Troubles in how terrorism was securitized and how counterterrorism laws were formed.1 In writing about the conflict in 1990, Padraig O’Malley explores the production and reproduction of identity as difference in stating, “[t]he conflict is about permanent identity-in-opposition, requiring every occasion to splice itself, like some feat of genetic engineering, into its tribal components, precluding a shared sense of grieving, the rhetoric of exclusion accommodating only a mutual sense of betrayal.”.2 Toward the end of the 1990s, close to the Peace Process, identifications of belonging and non-belonging continued to play a role in how the situation was understood: for example, “[w]hile 72% of the people of Northern Ireland preferred to remain part of the UK in 1992, only 30% of the British people saw the identity of Northern Ireland in the same light.”.3 Tensions over identity and belonging in the Irish and British context as well as “special powers” from the state have a relatively long history and remain a part of more contemporary relations and relevance. As discussed in Richard English’s seminal work on Irish nationalism, “it is clear that these late-nineteenth-century issues have cast a shadow into the twenty-first century”.4 Early 20th-century discourse present some “Englishmen” as regarding the Irish to be “hostile natives”.5 and notions of the Irish other played a role in British security and identity narratives well before 1968.
KeywordsSecurity Force Identity Narrative Home Department Security Practice Referent Configuration
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