The Good Friday Agreement and the disruption of ‘normalisation’
in Unfinished business
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This chapter details the most significant ideological shift undertaken by the Provisional Movement since 1986, namely acceptance of the consent principle; an issue which many radical republicans deem more fundamental than the IRA ceasefires. This chapter details radical republican attitudes to the GFA and cites interviewees’ arguments in opposition. The chapter explores how radical republicans conceptualise the issue of democratic mandate while asserting traditional republican principles. Repertoires of repression are explored, which have proven central to the radical republican message in the post-GFA period. This chapter demonstrates how radical republicans view their stance and actions as compatible with democratic principles and human rights, rooted in the perceived illegitimacy of the partitionist institutions, and have emphasised the human right to hold a political opinion. This chapter also examines how radical republicans navigate the system while asserting that engagement with partitionist institutions serves to legitimise them. Interviewees highlight the contested narrative regarding the point at which engagement with the system becomes ‘sell-out’. This chapter emphasises republican rejection of the normalisation agenda and highlights the interface at which radical republicans encounter the state (mainly protests and marches), thus providing insight into how radical republicans view their position within Northern Ireland.

Unfinished business

The politics of ‘dissident’ Irish republicanism

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