Social class, class awareness and political beliefs in Northern Ireland and the Republic of Ireland
Citation:Hayes, Bernadette C.; McAllister, Ian. 'Social class, class awareness and political beliefs in Northern Ireland and the Republic of Ireland'. - Economic & Social Review, Vol. 26, No. 4, July, 1995, pp. 349-368. Dublin: Economic & Social Research Institute
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Although Ireland, North and South, is usually considered sui generis in the literature of comparative politics, there has been debate about the socio-economic bases of the parties in the Republic of Ireland. This paper extends this debate by examining the class bases of politics in both parts of Ireland, using strictly comparable data collected in both countries in 1990. The results show that there are major class divisions in both countries and, in comparative terms, high levels of class awareness. In the Republic of Ireland class influences all aspects of politics, including partisanship and political beliefs. In Northern Ireland, class is influential in moulding beliefs, but not partisanship. Overall, the results point to the ability of political elites to control the strategic environment within which they operate, by employing the symbols and rhetoric of events that took place more than 75 years before.
Publisher:Economic & Social Research Institute
Type of material:Journal Article
Availability:Full text available