Submission Date


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Ann Karreth

Committee Member

Rebecca Evans

Committee Member

Christian Rice

Department Chair

Ann Karreth

Project Description

This paper delves into the dynamics of political parties in post-conflict societies, with a focus on Northern Ireland. It challenges the idea that electoral outcomes are solely determined by ethnonational identity, highlighting the emergence of alternative socio-political positions and shifting priorities among voters. Drawing on empirical research and mixed-methods analysis, the paper investigates the performance of the Democratic Unionist Party (DUP) and Sinn Féin (SF), arguing that parties failing to adapt to changing circumstances and emphasizing historical conflicts may fare poorly electorally. Through a comprehensive research design, including survey data and qualitative examination of party manifestos, the paper aims to uncover the factors influencing electoral outcomes and the evolving nature of political cleavages in post-conflict societies. Ultimately, it contributes to understanding ethnic identity, ethnonationalism, and political dynamics, offering insights into the factors that have promoted reconciliation in Northern Ireland and may help build successful post-conflict democratic systems in other societies as well.