Sectarianism, socioeconomic competition and the political economy of ulster loyalism

Peter Shirlow*, M. McGovern

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle (journal)peer-review

13 Citations (Scopus)


Within this paper we chart the link between class and the politics of Loyalism in Northern Ireland. In so doing we argue that sectarianism is a socio-cultural construct which undermines the potential for political stability. The paper analyzes the evolution of Loyalism and in so doing contends that the extreme political violence which emanated from certain paramilitary groups was conditioned by socio-economic and political alterations in Northern Ireland. The paper indicates how class relationships clearly cross-cut politics, economics, ideology and culture.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)379-398
Number of pages20
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - 31 Oct 1996


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