Faculty of Education, Social Sciences and Law

School of Politics and International Studies

Selling the End of Terrorism: A Frames Analysis of the IRA’s Disengagement from Armed Violence [and its diffusion to the next generation

23 October 2014 | 16:00-17:30 | Seminar

14.33, Social Sciences Building


Experiences from the end of the (Provisional) Irish Republican Army’s (IRA) campaign of armed violence have informed broader debates on how terrorism ends, yet this research has underplayed the internal dynamics which made the IRA’s disengagement successful. The article utilises a frames analysis to explain how a network within the IRA managed to ensure the majority of the movement supported an end to violence. A disengagement frame was constructed by this network within the IRA which maintained narrative fidelity, it utilised the credibility of mid-ranking commanders, and there were sufficient linkages to diffuse the frame due to generational hegemony, the structure of the IRA, and the unique structure of the prisons system. The findings suggest that repression has a tipping point where it prompts a network to advocate disengagement, but after this point repression can become counter-productive to ending terrorism and greater emphasis should be placed on incentivising the resonance of the frame within the militant group.[The presentation will then apply the same framework to discuss the role of inter-generational dialogue between former Provisional IRA members and young Republicans in discouraging political violence. It shows that while the disengagement frame resonated with Provisional IRA members and placed barriers to engaging in violence, the frame has a contradictory impact upon the younger generation where it has been claimed to glamorise violence rather than prevent against it.

Attendence is free and there will be an opportunity for networking after the event.

PhD  and MA researchers are particularly encouraged to attend. 

Location Details

14.33, Social Sciences Building
University of Leeds

The Social Sciences Building is number 82 on the campus map.

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