Hostile countermobilization is a crucial, yet relatively understudied, factor in radicalizing movement tactics and generating political violence. This chapter focuses on the movement–countermovement interactions between the Civil Rights Movement and the Loyalist movement in Northern Ireland to clarify the emergence and intensification of political violence in the 1968–1969 years. The interactions between the civil rights mobilization and the loyalist countermobilization created the conditions to fuel both protest-based and sectarian violence, setting the terrain for the eruption of the Troubles. Relying on quantitative data on the actors participating to contentious collective events, as well as original archival research, this chapter shows how the loyalist countermobilization activated mechanisms of object shift and tactical codependency that facilitated the emergence of radicalization in Northern Ireland.
Earlier versions of this chapter were presented at the Annual Meeting of the Social Science History Association in Baltimore, in November 2015, and at the ASA Annual Meeting in San Francisco, in August 2014. I am indebted to the participants to those conferences for providing constructive feedback on the chapter. I would also like to thank Lorenzo Bosi, Heather Scheuerman and the editor of this volume, Julie M. Mazzei, for their valuable comments and encouragement on this project.
De Fazio, G. (2017), "Hostile Countermobilization and Political Violence: Loyalist Contention and Radicalization in Northern Ireland, 1968–1969", Non-State Violent Actors and Social Movement Organizations (Research in Social Movements, Conflicts and Change, Vol. 41), Emerald Publishing Limited, Leeds, pp. 3-31. https://doi.org/10.1108/S0163-786X20170000041020
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