Critical Criminology

, Volume 8, Issue 1, pp 62–77

Dancing in the dark: Ecstasy, the dance culture, and moral panic in post ceasefire Northern Ireland

  • Brian Hollywood

DOI: 10.1007/BF02461136

Cite this article as:
Hollywood, B. Critical Criminology (1997) 8: 62. doi:10.1007/BF02461136


The hiatus caused by the Republican and then Loyalist ceasefires of 1994 left Northern Ireland in a state of flux. The rhythm of ‘the Troubles’ had become constant, predictable, and familiar. Sudden peace usurped these old certainties for many people; not only members of the police and media but politicians, the legal and medical professions, and most certainly, the paramilitaries. Therefore, the cessation of conflict brought with it a respite from bombs and bullets, but also a feeling of inertia and often literal redundancy for many. The author argues that, along with the (temporary) truce, came a sense of unease, a vacuum which had once been filled by violence. In this climate, a moral panic over drug use within youth subculture may have served a variety of hidden agendas.

Copyright information

© The Division on Critical Criminology 1997

Authors and Affiliations

  • Brian Hollywood
    • 1
  1. 1.Queen’s University of BelfastBelfastUK

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