Informers, Agents and the Liberal Ideology of Collusion in Northern Ireland

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    There is now considerable evidence of systemic and institutionalised collusion between state forces and loyalists paramilitary groups during the Northern Ireland conflict, not least in the late 1980s and early 1990s. Focusing on a critical reading of the 2012 de Silva report into the killing of human rights lawyer, Pat Finucane, this article examines state collusive practices surrounding the handling of agents and informers as evidence of a culture of collusion extending into the highest echelons of state institutions. The article will argue that such practices evidence an approach to state counterinsurgency predicated on a “doctrine of necessity” and what can be understood as a “liberal ideology of collusion”.
    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)292-311
    Number of pages20
    JournalCritical Studies on Terrorism
    Issue number2
    Early online date20 May 2016
    Publication statusE-pub ahead of print - 20 May 2016


    • Counterinsurgency
    • Northern Ireland
    • Pat Finucane
    • collusion
    • extra-judicial killing
    • state violence


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