Nationalisms Old and New: Dubrovnik May 2018


We have a fantastic line-up of speakers at the annual Divided Societies course for PhD students and other postgrads in the Inter-University Centre in Dubrovnik this year. It includes guest speakers Miguel A. Centeno (Princeton) on ‘Talking Past Each Other: Political Rhetorics in Recent Elections’; Deborah Kaple (Princeton) ‘The Importance of Nationalism in Chinese Communism’; David Pickus (ASU) ‘A Fence around Nationalism: On the anti-Populism of Mid Twentieth Century Jewish Intellectuals’ and course co-director Siniša Malešević (UCD) on ‘Beyond Old and New: Nationalism and the Privatisation of Military Power’. My own lecture is on ‘Nation and Neighbourhood: Nationalist Mobilisation and Local Solidarities’. Full details are at the end of this post.

The course runs from 6-13 May 2017 and the fee is a modest 50 euro. There are regular direct flights from Dublin to Dubrovnik (for those traveling from Ireland)  and there is plenty of hostel accommodation in the city for those on a limited budget. One way to keep costs down is to stay in the lively, attractive Lapad area which has lots of good restaurants and cafés where prices are considerably lower than in the old city. Accommodation is cheaper there too. The area has very good, frequent bus connections to the old city.

IUC2During the Cold War the Inter-University Centre was a meeting place for scientists and scholars from east and west and its first director was the pioneering scholar of peace and conflict studies, Johan Galtung. After the violent break-up of Yugoslavia in the 1990s a group of academics came together to establish this course on divided societies at the IUC. It is now in its 21st year.

Dubrovnik_IUCThe IUC is just a few minutes walk from the spectacularly beautiful walled city of Dubrovnik.

If you are interested in attending please contact the IUC (details below)you can register at // but feel free to also email me at niall.odochartaigh[at] and let me know. I am a co-director of the course and will try to answer any queries you may have. Deadline for application via course website: 6 April 2018

Don Frana Bulica 4, HR-20000 Dubrovnik, Croatia
Tel: + 385 20 413 626 / 627, Fax: + 385 20 413 628, E-mail: iuc(at)
Participants of IUC programmes may obtain reduced rates in some Dubrovnik hotels. Please check

Post/graduate Course: ‘Divided Societies XXI: Nationalisms Old and New’
6– 13 May 2018, Dubrovnik, Croatia

The recent dramatic rise of populist, nativist and nationalist movements throughout the world, and particularly in Europe and the US, has prompted lively debate on their character and their causes. The largely unexpected victories of Donald Trump in the 2016 US elections and the UK’s referendum leading towards the decision to leave EU, together with the proliferation of far-right parties in several European countries, have led many commentators to conclude that these developments are best characterised as ‘new nationalism’. The argument is that the main features of the new nationalist ideology include strong resistance towards immigration, anti- globalisation, preference for the introduction of economic protectionism, support for populist leaders and nativist policies and general hostility towards cultural and religious differences. This ‘new nationalism’ is often contrasted with the ‘old nationalism’ of 19th and 20th centuries. While ‘old nationalism’ has traditionally been associated with the struggle for political independence from the imperial rule, popular sovereignty and the political unification of co-nationals living in different polities the ‘new nationalism’ has become a synonym for nativism and populism.
The main aim of this course is to problematise this dichotomy and explore the dynamics of nationalism, populism and nativism in the contemporary world. More specifically the ambition is to provide answers to the following questions: Why has nationalism proved to be such a potent, protean and durable force in the modern age? Why has the nation-state established itself as the central organising mode of social and political life in the last two hundred years? What role globalisation plays in generating populist and nativist backlashes? Do contemporary populist and nativist movements differ from their 19th and 20th century counterparts? The course will also analyse the origins, historical transformations and inherent malleability of nationalist ideologies.
We encourage the participation of students and scholars in the social sciences, law and humanities and other fields and disciplines studying social phenomena such as divisions, cleavages, conflicts, borders, ethnicity and diversity.
This post/graduate course will be organized as a rigorous academic interdisciplinary programme structured around lectures, workshops and conference-oriented presentations of scholarly research. Course participants will engage in active discussions on the theoretical, methodological and practical issues of research in divided societies. Graduate and postgraduate students’ presentations are also welcome. In addition, the course offers personal inter-cultural experiences of students and faculty from other contexts in an unforgettable setting of a city that was itself the target of a destructive conflict.


  1. Saša Božić: Nationalist Interaction Ritual Chains in the 21st Century
  2. Miguel A. Centeno: Talking Past Each Other: Political Rhetorics in Recent Elections
  3. Emilio Cocco: New Nationalism and the European Boundaries in the Balkans
  4. Lea David: New nationalism and standardization of memory
  5. Neli Demireva: Economic protectionism as a new form of nationalism in immigration societies
  6. Deborah Kaple: The Importance of Nationalism in Chinese Communism
  7. Simona Kuti: Title TBC
  8. Siniša Malešević: Beyond Old and New: Nationalism and the Privatisation of Military Power
  9. Niall O’Dochartaigh: Nation and Neighbourhood: Nationalist Mobilisation and Local Solidarities
  10. Nadan Petrović: Old and new refugees in Europe
  11. Nikola Petrović: Title TBC
  12. David Pickus: A Fence around Nationalism: On the anti-Populism of Mid Twentieth Century Jewish Intellectuals
  13. Brad Roth: Statehood, Nationality, and the Self-Determination of Peoples in International Law
  14. Michal Vašečka: Nation Branding of Central and Eastern European Countries between Neo-liberal Communication and Traditional Nationalism
  15. Daphne Winland: Title TBC
  16. Mitja Žagar: Nationalism revisited: majority and minority nationalism in the beginning of the 21st century
  17. Viera Žuborova: Worskhop – Looking ahead to the future: the journey to youth radicalization
Posted in Uncategorized | 1 Comment

Negotiating Defence in Belfast and Derry: Violence Studies Oxford, Fri 9 February

I’m giving a talk at 5pm on Fri 9 February in a panel on ‘Do We Need Defending? The History, Tactics and Modern Relevance of Antifascist, Antiracist and Antisectarian Resistance in the United Kingdom’ with Nigel Copsey (Teesside) Akwugo Emejulu (Warwick) and Stephen Ashe (Manchester). Organised by Adam Brodie and Violence Studies Oxford. Details below of the panel and my paper.

‘This panel will seek to investigate the rationales that have led many groups, throughout the four nations of the UK, to forcefully counter actions by racists, far right organisations and the police. By comparing different mobilisations across time and space, this panel will seek to answer the question of why people deem such actions to be necessary, and whether such actions can indeed make us safer.’

‘Negotiating Defence in Belfast and Derry’, Niall Ó Dochartaigh, NUI Galway

Broad-based local Defence Associations and Committees were set up in nationalist areas of Derry and Belfast as violence surrounding the civil rights campaign escalated in Northern Ireland in 1969. They characterized their role as defending local neighborhoods against both loyalists and the unionist-dominated state security forces. They were broad coalitions, encompassing conservative Catholics and moderates as well as leftists and Republicans who sought to abolish the Northern Ireland state. This paper analyses the negotiated character of their defensive role and the extent to which it involved both tacit and explicit compromises and agreements with state forces. It outlines how these local defence associations engaged with the police force, the Royal Ulster Constabulary, and how they subsequently cooperated and co-existed with the British Armed forces deployed in those neighborhoods in August 1969. Examining the factors that led to a breakdown in these relationships over the following 18 months it uses this case to explore the negotiated character of local defence associations. It seeks to explain how even groups that seek to overthrow the state can develop strong cooperative relationships with state forces.

Details here:


Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Laughter in a time of violence: cartoonists and the Northern Ireland conflict

I’m giving a Public talk at 4pm Fri 27 Oct in the Black Gate Cultural Centre, Francis St Galway as part of the first ever Galway Cartoon Festival on ‘Laughter in a time of violence: cartoonists and the Northern Ireland conflict’. Some details below.

Cartoonists took all sides and none during the thirty year conflict over the political status of Northern Ireland that broke out in 1969 and in which more then 3,600 people were killed. This talk analyses some of the most striking and insightful cartoons that emerged from the conflict, drawing out the recurring themes and arguments that cartoonists sought to advance through strong and sometimes shocking imagery. Cartoonists viewed the conflict from very different political perspectives and sought to advance conflicting arguments. The talk considers the extent to which cartoonists reinforced and validated enmities and hostile caricatures or sought to challenge them. It pays special attention to those cartoonists who sought to unsettle mainstream assumptions and question the rhetoric of dominant forces. It concludes by looking at contemporary portrayals of the violent past and the continuing arguments over how to deal with the legacy of conflict.

Niall Ó Dochartaigh is a Senior Lecturer in the School of Political Science and Sociology at the National University of Ireland Galway. He has published extensively on the Northern Ireland conflict and on mediation, peace negotiations and territoriality. Recent publications include the co-edited books Political Violence in Context (ECPR Press 2015) and Dynamics of Political Change in Ireland: Making and Breaking a Divided Island (Routledge 2017). He is currently completing a monograph on the negotiating relationship between the British state and the IRA during the Northern Ireland conflict. He is a founding convener of the Standing Group on Political Violence of the European Consortium for Political Research (ECPR) and the Specialist Group on Peace and Conflict of the Political Studies Association of Ireland (PSAI). Further information at

Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Political Violence Panels at ECPR 2017 – timetable and full details

S46 P082 Dealing with the Past I: How States Deal with the Memory and Legacies of Political Violence
Thursday 09:00 – 10:40
Building: BL16 Georg Morgenstiernes hus Room: GM 205
S46 P083 Dealing with the Past II: Memories of Political Violence
Thursday 11:00 – 12:40
Building: BL16 Georg Morgenstiernes hus Room: GM 205
S46 P137 Former Combatants, De-Radicalisation and the State – co-sponsored with S56
Thursday 15:50 – 17:30
Building: BL16 Georg Morgenstiernes hus Room: GM 205
S46 P142 From Rebellion to the Emergence of Quasi-states. Alternative Modes of Governance among Jihadi-Salafist Groups
Friday 09:00 – 10:40
Building: BL16 Georg Morgenstiernes hus Room: GM 205
S46 P312 Rebel Governance, Alternative Orders, and Contested Sovereignty
Friday 11:00 – 12:40
Building: BL16 Georg Morgenstiernes hus Room: GM 205
S46 P253 Paramilitaries, Militias, and Self-defense Groups: The Fluid Boundary between State and non-state Armed Actors
Friday 14:00 – 15:40
Building: BL16 Georg Morgenstiernes hus Room: GM 205
S46 P242 Negotiations, Peace Processes, and Violence
Friday 17:40 – 19:20
Building: BL16 Georg Morgenstiernes hus Room: GM 205
S46 P298 Post-conflict Transitions, Legitimacy and the Effects of Violence
Saturday 09:00 – 10:40
Building: BL16 Georg Morgenstiernes hus Room: GM 205
S46 P229 Militant Mobilisation and the State
Saturday 11:00 – 12:40
Building: BL16 Georg Morgenstiernes hus Room: GM 205
S46 P313 Recent Trends in European Counterterrorism: A Comparative Perspective
Saturday 14:00 – 15:40
Building: BL16 Georg Morgenstiernes hus Room: GM 205


Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Daniel Sokatch of NIF speaking at NUI Galway Thurs 18 May: ‘#50isEnough: Israeli Civil Society Confronts the Occupation’

DanielSokatch-Jun2015-160x160Looking forward to talking to Daniel Sokatch, CEO of the New Israel Fund at NUI Galway this Thursday about Israeli Civil Society and the Occupation. All are welcome.

#50isEnough: Israeli Civil Society Confronts the Occupation
Daniel Sokatch, CEO of the New Israel Fund
Date/Time: 1.00pm-2.30pm Thursday 18 May
The Bridge, Hardiman Research Building, NUI Galway

The Occupation is now 50 years old and the current political leadership in Israel seems intent on silencing Israelis who want to see it end. Indeed, the debate over the Occupation – and the damage it is doing to both Palestinian society and Israeli democracy – has been removed from the center of public discourse in Israel.  But no problem that is swept under the rug will ever be solved, and Israeli activists are pushing back. We will examine the roots of the conflict and of the Occupation, discuss the impact it has had on both Palestinians and Israelis, and survey some of the strategies Israeli civil society organizations are implementing to challenge the status quo during these challenging times.

Daniel J. Sokatch is the Chief Executive Officer of the New Israel Fund (NIF), the leading organization committed to equality and democracy for all Israelis. Before joining NIF, Sokatch served as the Executive Director of the Jewish Community Federation of San Francisco, the Peninsula, Marin and Sonoma Counties. Prior to his tenure at Federation, he served as the founding Executive Director of the California-based Progressive Jewish Alliance (now known as Bend the Arc).
In recognition of his leadership, Sokatch has been named to the Forward newspaper’s “Forward 50,” an annual list of the fifty leading Jewish decision-makers and opinion-shapers, in 2002, 2005 and 2008 and 2010.
Daniel has an MA from the Fletcher School at Tufts University, a JD from Boston College Law School, and a BA from Brandeis University. He is married with two daughters and resides in San Francisco.

Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Recalling Brendan Duddy’s decision to deposit his papers in NUI Galway

The sad news today of the death of intermediary Brendan Duddy prompted me to revisit a short article I wrote a few years ago about his decision to donate his papers to the National University of Ireland Galway. It recalls for me his exceptional energy, stamina and determination, qualities that were essential to his work as an intermediary.
brendan archive

The image shows sample passes that British representatives gave to the Provisionals at one of their regular secret meetings in Duddy’s house in Derry in 1975

NUI Galway \ RESEARCH MATTERS Issue 5 \ Summer 2013
“In 1997 Brendan Duddy phoned me at my workplace in the University of Ulster’s International Conflict Research Centre in Derry. He told me he was impressed with a
book I had just published on the escalation of the Troubles in Derry and asked me to call to his house. I had no idea who he was. Almost four hours later, during which time he spoke to me in urgent and impassioned tones, I still had no idea who he was. He seemed to have some kind of intense personal investment in the peace process whose nature was not at all clear to me and something was holding him back from talking openly. The encounter stuck with me but shortly afterwards I got a job as a lecturer in politics in Galway and left Derry for good. There was no opportunity to inquire further. When I began in 2003 to do some research on Bloody Sunday, an old friend and NUI Galway graduate, Garbhan Downey, suggested I contact Brendan Duddy. He told me cryptically that Duddy ‘had a story to tell’. When I phoned Duddy he agreed immediately to meet me again.
“The tension between his desire to tell his story and the secrecy and silence that he had
been committed to for a lifetime shaped our conversations. His almost physical resistance to speaking about topics on which he had maintained secrecy for so long co-existed with an energy and a capacity for exposition that was inexhaustible.
“Our conversations would continue well into the evening, in the book-lined office, in the kitchen as we waited for the kettle to boil, in the hallway. In a way I was reliving the experiences of the British and Republican interlocuters with whom he would speak for hours on end. Recalling his conversations with the senior MI6 agents he dealt with he told me ‘…in one four hour dialogue with anybody you want to mention, Michael [Oatley], Rob [Browning], any of them, there would be half a sentence that mattered and you trained yourself to listen for that half sentence . . .and it was that half sentence which made the difference, either way.’
“It was two years before he allowed me to start recording these interviews and even longer before he began to talk about sensitive issues, such as the hunger strikes.
“And then, during a conversation in his office in 2008, he paused to lean over and slide
back one of the cabinet doors that were built in below the bookshelves. He explained to me for the first time that throughout the twenty years of his work as an intermediary he had held on to documents. His archive included diaries of the 1975 talks, of the 1981 hunger strike negotiations and of the 1993 contacts. He asked me what I thought he should do with them and I spoke in general terms about the possibilities for lodging them in an archive. Around a year later he told me that he would like to deposit the papers in Galway. The librarian John Cox, the University Foundation and Louis de Paor at the Centre for Irish Studies provided resources for cataloguing the papers. Archivists Kieran Hoare and Vera Orschel set about the task, building on the extensive work already done by Duddy’s son-in-law Eamonn Downey. In 2011 the university celebrated the donation of the papers with a public launch for the Duddy family and a symposium on Negotiating Peace.
“Duddy’s role was that of an active facilitator and mediator. His papers provide an insight into the relationship between the British state and the Provisional Republican movement from the unique perspective of an individual located at the grinding intersection between the two. They will be a key resource for scholars of mediation and conflict for many years to come.”
The Duddy papers are open to researchers.
Dr Ó Dochartaigh has published extensively on this topic and several of his articles are freely available online:
Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Northern Ireland and Israel-Palestine: CUNY GC 19 April

Organised by the Queens College Irish Studies Program and the Political Science Department at the CUNY Graduate Center

Sacred Boundaries: The Search for Peace in Northern Ireland and Israel-Palestine


A Discussion with Niall Ó Dochartaigh and
Daniel Sokatch, moderated by Peter Beinart

Wednesday, April 19
3:30-5:30 p.m.
The CUNY Graduate Center
365 Fifth Avenue (34th Street)
Room C-197

Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment