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Paramilitary Punishments in Belfast: Policing Beneath the Peace

Topping, John and Byrne, Jonny (2012) Paramilitary Punishments in Belfast: Policing Beneath the Peace. Behavioral Sciences of Terrorism and Political Aggression, 4 (1). pp. 41-59. [Journal article]

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As an enduring legacy of the conflict, paramilitary policing remains an unpalatable but indisputable fact within Belfast’s working-class, Republican communities. Historically, while much attention has been devoted to the causes and consequences of paramilitarism along with the terrorist threat posed by such organisations, little attention has been paid to the influence upon, or relations between, such non-state policing actors, the communities in which they exist and the delivery of policing by the Police Service of Northern Ireland. While local and international literature surrounding paramilitary violence has tended towards political axiom or physical impact of such activity, the current paper presents an empirical study of the relations between communities and Republican paramilitary organisations who seek to exploit a perceived dearth of state-based policing at the community level within Belfast. Framing the ontology of paramilitary policing and its support from a community, rather than political or security perspective, the paper argues that continuing grass-roots support for this ‘new’ paramilitary policing within Republican communities of Belfast is more complex and nuanced than the political antecedents of the conflict from which such activity emerged – especially in terms of such support surviving successive political negotiations and police reforms since the ‘Good Friday’ Agreement of 1998.

Item Type:Journal article
Keywords:policing, post-conflict, PSNI, paramilitary, peace process
Faculties and Schools:Faculty of Social Sciences > School of Criminology, Politics and Social Policy
Faculty of Social Sciences
Research Institutes and Groups:Institute for Research in Social Sciences > Social Work & Social Policy
Institute for Research in Social Sciences
ID Code:20761
Deposited By: Dr John Topping
Deposited On:17 Jan 2012 18:02
Last Modified:17 Jan 2012 18:02

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