The Experience of Victimhood

  • Neil Southern


The victims of terrorist attacks have received little scholarly attention. Moreover, the nature of victimhood, as it is experienced by members of the security forces, has been ignored in terrorism studies. This has resulted in a gap in academic knowledge. Victimhood is experienced differently amongst RUC officers. For example, injured officers have a justifiably stronger sense of victimhood than officers who emerged from the conflict unscathed. However, many officers feel alienated in the post-settlement period. They believe that there is an effort to sully the name of the RUC and portray the organisation as a causal factor in the conflict. Yet the facts demonstrate that it was terrorist groups, most notably the IRA, which was responsible for the majority of killings during the Troubles and not the RUC (nor wider security forces). This chapter considers the nature of victimhood as it is experienced by members of the RUC.


Victimhood Hierarchy of victims Alienation Perpetrator Fatality statistics Political abandonment Patten report Eames/Bradley 


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Copyright information

© The Author(s) 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of Psychology, Sociology and PoliticsSheffield Hallam UniversitySheffieldUK

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