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Keywords:

  • Ulster Unionism;
  • DUP;
  • St Andrews Agreement;
  • peace process;
  • Good Friday Agreement

Unionism's response to the peace process and the Belfast Agreement was often characterised as incoherent, divided and reactive. This reflected the reality that the core of the peace process was the relationship between the British state and the IRA. Since the end of the IRA as a terrorist organisation and mainstream republicanism's embrace of a partitionist settlement, Unionism's political position appears stronger. However, although constitutionally secure it faces major ideological and strategic challenges