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NCJ Number: 220902 Find in a Library
Title: Defensive Propaganda and IRA Political Control in Republican Communities
Journal: Studies in Conflict & Terrorism  Volume:30  Issue:12  Dated:December 2007  Pages:1073-1094
Author(s): Kiran Sarma
Date Published: December 2007
Page Count: 22
Type: Issue Overview
Format: Article
Language: English
Country: United States of America
Annotation: This article examines the Irish Republican Army's (IRA's) campaign of actions and propaganda designed to foster continued support for its tactics among the Catholic/republican population of Northern Ireland, whose interests they claim to represent in the fight against social, economic, and political inequities.
Abstract: The article begins with an overview of the importance of popular support for paramilitary organizations in general and the IRA in particular. It argues that the IRA's reliance on support among a sympathetic audience is necessary for the organization's long-term survival. This has led to the emergence of defensive propaganda that justifies the suppression of dissent against those in the republican community who oppose their aggressive and combative tactics against perceived IRA enemies. Three case studies of IRA repressive actions and accompanying defensive propaganda are presented, followed by a discussion of the structure and content of the IRA's propaganda campaigns. The three case studies show how the IRA conducts punishments (deaths in the cases presented) when members of the republican population oppose or act without the approval of the IRA core leadership. The core leadership of the IRA has in effect established its own system of justice within the Catholic/republican community in Northern Ireland, and it uses propaganda to make its actions appear just and moral. This is done by dehumanizing the targets of their violent actions as informers against the republican cause or as criminals. This enables the self-appointed leaders of the IRA to create the image of their oppressive and violent acts as just and moral. 67 notes
Main Term(s): Criminology
Index Term(s): Northern Ireland; Propaganda; Revolutionary or terrorist groups; Terrorist tactics; Victims of terrorism
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