The Old Days are Over: Irish Republicanism, the Peace Process and the Equality Agenda

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    This article examines the current role of equality as a key discourse in the language of Sinn Féin. It explores this within the context of the consociational character of the Good Friday Agreement and the discursive nature of Republican ideology. The article argues that mainstream contemporary Republicanism (in the shape of Sinn Féin) is reforging its political agenda and doing so by rearticulating key elements of Republican thought and northern Nationalist political culture. Republicanism has always contained within it radical-universalist and ethnic particularist dimensions. It could be argued that the consociational nature of the Good Friday Agreement has placed a political premium for parties to emphasize their role as ethnic community advocates. The article will suggest that Sinn Féin has been employing the language of equality in order to marry its appeal as a party of communalist leadership with universalized principles. While the rhetoric of Nationalist aspirations remain, this process has ensured that equality has emerged as the meta-discourse for Sinn Féin as it moves away from armed anti-partitionism.
    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)622-645
    JournalTerrorism and Political Violence
    Issue number3
    Publication statusPublished - 1 Jul 2004


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