A referendum that began on the question of sovereignty quickly degenerated into cries of betrayal over a redrawn border in the Irish Sea, and has led to unionists becoming more insular again, resurrecting ethnic and nationalist notions of what constitutes the Union.

In A People Under Siege, historian Aaron Edwards, a native of Belfast, explores the profound challenges facing the community and, in the process, articulates what is really meant by unionism. He explains key developments within unionism over the past turbulent century and examines how a people who believe themselves to be once again under siege are viewed by others beyond their community.

In doing so he confronts the narrow, sectional beliefs and prejudices of unionists and loyalists, as well as outlining their more positive and forward-thinking aspects. By embracing these, Edwards explains how divisions could be healed and a position reached of mutual acceptance, tolerance and understanding that will benefit the entire population.


Prologue: In a Little World of Their Own?

A State Born in Violence
The People of Independent Thought
Masters of Our Own House
Whipping Up the New Recruits
Responsible Members of the Community
An Ulster Divided Against Itself
A Regime Under Fire
A Very Loyalist Coup
Prisoners of the IRA’s Strategy
The Duisburg Formula
An Image Problem
Lifting the Siege
Ulster’s Answer to Leaderless Resistance
The Changing of the Guard
A People Under Siege (Again)
Toppling the New Tower of Babel
Circling the Wagons
Political Unionism and the Greater Good
Epilogue: Homecoming

Aaron Edwards is a Senior Lecturer in Defence and International Affairs at the Royal Military Academy Sandhurst and an Honorary Research Fellow in the Department of Politics and International Relations at the University of Leicester. He is the author of several books, including Mad Mitch’s Tribal Law: Aden and the End of Empire (2014), UVF: Behind the Mask (2017) and Agents of Influence (2021). His work has been featured in The Irish Times, Belfast Telegraph, Belfast News Letter and The Irish News.

More Information
ISBN/EAN 9781785372995
Author Aaron Edwards
Publisher Irish Academic Press
Imprint Merrion Press
Publication date 12 May 2023
Format Paperback
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You're reviewing:A People Under Siege: The Unionists of Northern Ireland, from Partition to Brexit and Beyond

A People Under Siege: The Unionists of Northern Ireland, from Partition to Brexit and Beyond

Since the Brexit referendum of 2016, extraordinary uncertainty has hung over the future of the Union between Great Britain and Northern Ireland, creating a crisis for the unionist community...

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