The Northern Ireland Troubles in Britain

Impacts, engagements, legacies and memories

For the three decades of the Northern Ireland ‘Troubles’ (1968–98), the United Kingdom experienced within its borders a profound and polarizing conflict. Yet relatively little research has addressed the complex effects, legacies and memories of this conflict in Britain. It occupies a marginal position in British social, cultural and political history, and the experiences and understandings of those in or from Britain who fought in it, were injured or harmed by it, or campaigned against it, have been neglected both in wider scholarship and in public policy. In the peace process since 1994, British initiatives towards ‘post-conflict’ remembering have been limited and fragmented.

This ground-breaking book provides the first comprehensive investigation of the history and memory of the Troubles in Britain. It examines the impacts of the conflict upon individual lives, political and social relationships, communities and culture in Britain; and explores how the people of Britain (including its Irish communities) have responded to, and engaged with the conflict, in the context of contested political narratives produced by the State and its opponents. Setting an agenda for further research and public debate, the book demonstrates that ‘unfinished business’ from the conflicted past persists unaddressed in Britain; and advocates the importance of acknowledging legacies, understanding histories, and engaging with memories in the context of peace-building and reconciliation. Contributors include scholars from a wide range of disciplines (social, political and cultural history; politics; media, film and cultural studies; law; literature; performing arts; sociology; peace studies); activists, artists, writers and peace-builders; and people with direct personal experience of the conflict.

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‘This is a collection of essays by academics discussing the usually neglected topic of the impact of the Troubles on Britain.'
Books Ireland Magazine
May/June 2017

‘This is an important book academically but one that challenges all activists involved in Irish politics to get together and produce their own history.'
Bernadette Hyland
Morning Star
February 2017

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