Identity Politics and Social Movements: Flags, Same-Sex Marriage and Brexit
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This chapter explains the trajectories of socio-cultural change in both parts of Ireland. It takes recent decision-points in each society: the marriage equality and abortion repeal referendums in the Republic of Ireland that accelerated cultural transformation of 'the nation'; and the flags protest (2012–2013) in Northern Ireland that reversed the trajectory of change begun with the Good Friday Agreement of 1998. It shows how in Northern Ireland pluralizing change met predictable reversals, creating clusters of the unionist populations available for mobilization, in social contexts that favoured hardline loyalist identity alliances over others. It provides a critical, policy relevant approach to the current conjuncture of Brexit, arguing that it is necessary to go beyond respect for given identities to respect for autonomous identity change.
KeywordsIdentity coalitions Mobilization Flags protest Marriage equality referendum Repeal the 8th (abortion) referendum Multi-levelled processual explanation Pluralism Constitutional norms Northern Ireland Republic of Ireland
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