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Just fighting to survive: loyalist paramilitary politics and the Progressive Unionist Party

McAuley, James W. (2004) Just fighting to survive: loyalist paramilitary politics and the Progressive Unionist Party. Terrorism and Political Violence, 16 (3). pp. 522-543. ISSN 0954-6553

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Throughout the contemporary period, Unionists and Loyalists in Northern Ireland have reacted in contradictory ways to the peace process. This article highlights some of the key political and social dynamics within loyalism. In particular, it considers the positioning of the paramilitary Ulster Volunteer Force (UVF) and their linked political representatives in the Progressive Unionist Party (PUP). The response of the PUP to the peace process has revealed several important tensions within unionism. These include the notions that Loyalists can no longer be assured that the UK government will maintain the Union; expressions of class and gendered identities; a lack of trust of mainstream unionism; and, sectarianism, which although it remains a key element within Loyalist identity, is by no means its only dimension. Finally, the article outlines the broader construction of Loyalist and Unionist ideologies, and positions the PUP within broader politics of contemporary unionism

Item Type: Article
Additional Information: UoA 39 (Politics and International Studies) Copyright © Taylor and Francis, Inc., 2004
Subjects: J Political Science > JA Political science (General)
J Political Science > JF Political institutions (General)
Schools: School of Human and Health Sciences
School of Human and Health Sciences > Centre for Research in the Social Sciences
School of Human and Health Sciences > Academy for British and Irish Studies
Related URLs:

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3. On 5 January 2004, three newly elected Ulster Unionist Party MLAs ‘defected’
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35. SeeMcAuley ‘Cuchulainn and an RPG-7’ (note 5); The Politics of Identity (note 5);
and ‘Not a Game of Cowboy and Indians’ (note 5).
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the Northern Ireland Assembly’, Final Report to the Economic and Social
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Between Loyalists and Republicans in the Northern Ireland Assembly’,

tudes Irlandaises 28=1 (2003) pp.17798.
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53. There are various occasional publications supporting the LVF such as, The
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55. Gillespie (note 24) p.268.
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Development Project no date).
57. D. Ervine, ‘Loyalist Confidence in Decline’ BBC website
northern ireland (downloaded 10 May 2002).
58. David Ervine, cited in Combat (January 2003) p.4.
59. D. McKittrick, ‘What Makes the Loyalists Angry is Seeing the Other Side Doing
So Well’, The Independent, 17 January 2002.
60. D. Murray, Protestant Perceptions of the Peace Process in Northern Ireland
(University of Limerick: Centre for Peace and Development Studies 2000).
61. M. Hall, An Uncertain Future: An Exploration by Protestant Community Activists
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62. See, for example, reports in The Guardian (4 January 2002 and 7 January 2003).
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to the Royal Geographical Society Conference, Belfast, 5 January 2002; ‘Fear,
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to Speak’: Fear, Mobility, and Ethno-Sectarianism in the Two ‘Ardoynes’, The
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64. See S. Dunn and V. Morgan, Protestant Alienation in Northern Ireland. A
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65. See S. Breen, ‘Survey Shows Unionists Divided Over Talks’, The Irish Times,
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Pamphlets 1998).
66. The survey, conducted by Colin Irwin of the Institute of Irish Studies at Queen’s
University, Belfast, was first published in Belfast Telegraph on 10 January 1998.
67. Dowds (note 2).
68. For fuller results, see C. Irwin, ‘Devolution and the State of the Northern Ireland
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69. News Letter, 23 February 1995.
70. Orange Standard, 1 April 1999.
71. Democratic Unionist Party, Fair Deal Manifesto 2003 (Belfast: DUP 2003).
72. Cited in Andersonstown News, 26 June 1996, p.10.73. McAuley ‘Unionism’s last Stand?’ (note 2).
74. CAIN Web Service ‘Assembly Election (NI): Results 26 November 2003’, http:== (downloaded 4 December
75. See, for example, Ballymacarret Think Tank, Puppets No More (Newtownabbey:
Island Pamphlets 1999); M. Hall, Beyond the Fife and Drum (Belfast: Island
Pamphlets 1995); and Reinforcing Powerlessness: The Hidden Dimension to the
Northern Ireland ‘Troubles’ (Belfast: Island Pamphlets 1996).
76. See D. McKittrick, ‘Trust Drains Away’, The Independent, 6 October 2002; and
B. White, ‘Unionists Believe Good Friday Agreement is All Bad’, The Herald,
25 July 2002.

Depositing User: Sara Taylor
Date Deposited: 24 Sep 2007
Last Modified: 09 Nov 2015 09:11


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