This article argues that the failure of Northern Ireland's first power-sharing executive, and subsequent attempts to restore power-sharing during the 1970s, was the result of conflicting attitudes towards devolution among Northern Ireland's politicians. Traditional ideological divisions between nationalists and unionists were not the primary barrier to creating and sustaining cross-community institutions, as stressed in accounts of this period premised on consociational theory. Drawing extensively from archival sources, it argues that the split between the pragmatists from both communities, who were prepared to compromise their core principles and accept power-sharing devolution within a UK framework, and the dogmatists (both nationalists and unionists) who refused to contemplate any compromise to their core position, prevented a consensual political settlement emerging during the 1970s.
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- Department of Behavioural and Social Sciences - Senior Lecturer in Politics
- School of Human and Health Sciences
- Centre for Citizenship, Conflict, Identity and Diversity - Core Member
- Secure Societies Institute - Associate Member
- Centre for History, Culture and Memory