By P. Neumann
Britain's lengthy struggle assesses the method of strategic switch in the British Government's place on Northern eire, beginning with Westminster's first intervention in 1969 and finishing with the Belfast contract in 1998. Drawing on an enormous diversity of fundamental resources together with lately published cupboard papers, Peter Neumann analyzes the goals, technique and restraints of British coverage in Northern eire.
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Additional resources for Britain's Long War: British Strategy in the Northern Ireland Conflict 1969-98
54 Equally important, there has been a high degree of consent between governors and the governed in relation to the way in which political power was exercised through the mechanisms of the existing political system. 55 Despite its elitist orientation and the dominance of what some might claim to be ‘English norms’, Westminster has therefore enjoyed a high degree of legitimacy amongst the electorate. It is not difficult to identify the principal tenets of British political culture in London’s thinking about how to bring about a ‘political solution’ of the Northern Ireland conflict.
As a result, the government’s campaign to preserve its authority was a matter of principle, the significance of which went far beyond the question of what national state the province would belong to. Second, the hybrid nature of the conflict in Northern Ireland necessitated separate types of response. It continues to be a matter of debate as to whether the ‘Troubles’ were caused by two ethnic groups with mutually exclusive national identities (Unionists versus Nationalists), or whether the conflict originates in the ‘foreign occupation’ of Ireland (the British government versus the Irish people).
Like every government policy in a democratic setting, the British government’s actions in Northern Ireland were scrutinised by the wider public, and the British government was ultimately held accountable by the British electorate. To London, it was obvious that the continued involvement in the province hinged on the British public’s acquiescence, and that, therefore, public opinion in Great Britain had to be part of the strategic calculus. 41 Regarding the level of force, London’s dilemma arose from the fact that public opinion on the mainland was highly ambiguous.
Britain's Long War: British Strategy in the Northern Ireland Conflict 1969-98 by P. Neumann