IRA violence and Sinn Fein’s revolutionary politics plagued Northern Ireland for 30 years. Today, however, violence is (mostly) a tactic of the past and Sinn Fein is a major political player in both Northern Ireland and the Republic of Ireland. This is one of the most startling transformations of a radical violent movement in recent times.
What exactly changed within Irish republicanism? What has stayed the same? And, crucially what caused this transformation? By examining republicanism’s electoral participation and engagement in democratic bargaining, together with the role of Irish-America and British government policy, Matthew Whiting argues that moderation was a long-term process of concessions by republicanism in return for increased inclusion within the political system.