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The geographical spread of state executions during the Irish Civil War, 1922-1923

Kissane, Bill (2021) The geographical spread of state executions during the Irish Civil War, 1922-1923. Social Science History, 45 (1). 165 - 186. ISSN 0145-5532

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Identification Number: 10.1017/ssh.2020.43

Abstract

The state executions of 81 IRA men during the Irish civil war have long been a bitter, almost taboo subject in Irish society. This article provides a geographical perspective on these executions. While the origins of the policy can be traced to elite divisions, the geographical spread of the executions, especially in 1923, reflected the geography of the civil war, and the need to broadcast state power at the local level during its guerrilla phase. The article maps the geographical spread of the executions and analyzes their diffusion in terms of a number of general and Irish-specific theories of civil war violence. Because the civil war originated in elite differences over a treaty, and because the two sides of the conflict had been so personally close at the elite level, historians have tended to explain the executions in terms of elite psychology. Yet while the initial development of the policy reflected the centralization of power by the protreaty elite, in terms of timing, strategic rationale, and location territorial perspectives on civil war explain much more about their diffusion in 1923.

Item Type: Article
Official URL: https://www.cambridge.org/core/journals/social-sci...
Additional Information: © 2020 The Author
Divisions: Government
Subjects: D History General and Old World > DA Great Britain
Date Deposited: 14 Sep 2020 15:45
Last Modified: 20 Aug 2021 03:12
URI: http://eprints.lse.ac.uk/id/eprint/106551

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