Rebels without applause

History, resistance, and recognition in the Ulster Defence Association

Richard J. Reed*

*Corresponding author for this work

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticle


    During and since the recent conflict in Northern Ireland, history has been an important resource in the creation and sustenance of political and cultural identities. The loyalist Ulster Defence Association (UDA), the largest paramilitary group, has deployed its own historical discourse in support of sporadic political and cultural endeavours, and in its ongoing struggle for influence, esteem and recognition. This article provides an account of this narrative, and proceeds to consider the ways in which the UDA's narrative has ultimately provided support for existing binary structures, militating against its efforts to secure greater recognition and to establish itself as an independent political and cultural voice.

    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)124-148
    Number of pages25
    JournalTwentieth Century British History
    Issue number1
    Publication statusPublished - Mar 2012

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