Wednesday, November 5, 2003

Flying flags of fear

I have just made available a copy of one of my lastest papers, entitled "Flying flags of fear: The role of fear in the process of political transition", which I presented at a conference in Jordan recently. The paper begins..."As tension mounts during the build up to the Orange Marching season in the summer each year in Northern Ireland the streets of many of its cities and towns are festooned with flags. The proliferation of Union Jacks, Irish Tricolours, Ulster flags, and paramilitary flags that adorn the streets symbolise loyalty and are sectarian markers of territory. In July 2002, however, something unusual happened. As if from nowhere, Republicans started hoisting the Palestinian flag alongside their Irish Tricolours, and in neighbouring Loyalist areas the Israeli flag fluttered happily alongside the Union Jack and paramilitaries flags. It is difficult to analyse the reasons for this..." The essay posits some reasons for this by mainly focusing on the concept of ‘fear’, more...