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Keywords:

  • Ireland;
  • partition;
  • territoriality;
  • nationalism;
  • republicanism;
  • unionism

This paper examines some of the key factors working in favour of mutual insulation between the two political jurisdictions in Ireland, factors that contribute to the ‘copper-fastening’ of partition and that constitute a major obstacle to any Irish Republican project focused on the ending of partition. It outlines the powerful structural forces working for the naturalisation of Northern Ireland as a political unit. It argues that some of these factors are almost entirely independent of political unionism and in certain respects work to copperfasten partition despite the efforts of unionism. It goes on to outline a number of key elements that work against the mutual insulation of the jurisdictions and the domestication of Irish Republican and nationalist politics in a Northern Ireland context, factors that continue to pull the North back into an all-Ireland context despite all of the powerful structural factors working to mutually insulate the politics of the two jurisdictions.