McGlynn, Catherine, Tonge, Jonathan and McAuley, James W. (2012) The Party Politics of Post-devolution Identity in Northern Ireland. British Journal of Politics and International Relations. ISSN 1369-1481

In this article we examine how party political competition in Northern Ireland impacts on understandings of national identity and citizenship both within the region and elsewhere in the UK. These dynamics can be seen in expressions of political identity and through organisational change and electoral strategies. The consociational framework in which Northern Irish parties operate is one of the most powerful dynamics and we assess how it has shaped intra community party competition, most notably through the emergence of the Democratic Unionist Party and Sinn Féin as the strongest unionist and nationalist parties respectively. However, our analysis of campaigning and voting in the 2010 General Election and 2011 Assembly elections also shows that the transformation of party political competition in the UK after devolution is an important dynamic and one that has shaped unionist electoral strategies in particular.

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