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Carleton College

Publication Date

Fall 2012

Program Name

Ireland: Transformation of Social and Political Conflict


I conducted my research for this paper during a three-­‐week internship at the Pat Finucane Center in Derry. I gathered evidence from a series of declassified British government documents provided to me by the center. I focus my study on the British government’s attitude towards sectarian assassinations, particularly committed by loyalist paramilitaries, in the first part of the 1970’s. I examine the issues of responding to international pressure, framing the problem, evaluating security force effectiveness, and screening strategies. I find that in the public sphere, the British government hid information to downplay the severity of loyalist-­‐led murder campaigns and instigated policies that did little to curb the violence. I also analyze the role the Pat Finucane Center played in shaping my work and argue for the utility of conducting research in an activist environment.


Critical and Cultural Studies | Policy History, Theory, and Methods | Politics and Social Change | Social Influence and Political Communication


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