Ties that Bind: Scotland, Northern Ireland and the Union
Graham Walker & James Greer
Ties That Bind is a fascinating and timely study of the historical, cultural and political relationship between Scotland and Northern Ireland, at a seminal moment in the constitutional history of both states.
Ties That Bind is a fascinating and timely study of the historical, cultural and political relationship between Scotland and Northern Ireland, at a seminal moment in the constitutional history of both states. It conclusively shows that both places have been politically, as well as culturally, entwined, even if this has often been unacknowledged and seldom explored in any depth.
In the twenty-first century, devolution provided a new context for public discussion in Scotland of old questions of religious divisions and the extent and nature of sectarianism. This was a theme that clearly brought Scotland into a frame of comparison with Northern Ireland; issues around sectarianism in Scotland have roots in Irish influences in Scottish life and have fed off the conflict in Northern Ireland. In this compelling book by two leading authorities on the subject, it will be argued that the impact of the independence debate in Scotland has given a new twist to this phenomenon.
All these themes are explored against the background of the deep historical and cultural links and bonds that bring together Scotland and Northern Ireland. It is a relationship which has always been a close one culturally, but an awkward and problematic one politically. This book deftly illuminates the complexities of the relationship and poses pertinent questions about its future in a period of intense political turbulence and uncertainty.
1 Shared History Across the Narrow Sea
2 Scotland, Northern Ireland and Devolution
3 The British Question
4 The Ulsterisation of Scottish Politics
5 Leaving, Remaining and Remaking
About the Authors
Graham Walker is Emeritus Professor of Political History at Queen’s University Belfast. He has published widely in the subject areas of Irish and Scottish history and politics, and the politics of sport.
James Greer’s publications have focused on the political history of Ulster unionism, the modern Troubles, British and Irish labour, and Irish Presbyterianism. His research has also explored the politics of European integration in Northern Ireland, and literature and popular culture in twentieth-century Northern Ireland.
Praise for Ties That Bind?
‘Intelligent and timely … [Ties That Bind?] does a fine job of explaining the psychological barriers created by base tribalism.’
Andrew Lynch, Sunday Business Post