School of Politics and International Relations

Paramilitaries, Deterrent Violence and Feud in Ulster's Borderlands since 1920


Funder: Arts and Humanities Research Council
PI: Dr Edward Burke
Duration: May 2020 – April 2022

This Fellowship examines the use of deterrent violence in rural Ulster’s long century of paramilitary conflict. Acts of deterrent violence, by selecting ‘representative victims’, seek to deter greater resistance on the part of a rival community – essentially leading to less violence than would otherwise be the case.

The project asks whether successive generations drew upon (or deviated from) established templates of deterrent violence. It also asks whether feud played a significant role in paramilitary violence in rural Ulster. It chronicles the practical, lethal effect of the exchange of memories and justifications of past episodes of violence or grievance, on the conduct of younger generations. Combining archival and field research, the project aims to make a significant contribution to our understanding of conflict in the UK-Irish border region.

School of Politics and International Relations

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