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The past, Brexit, and the future in Northern Ireland: a quasi-experiment

Godefroidt, Amélie; Dyrstad, Karin; Bakke, Kristin; (2022) The past, Brexit, and the future in Northern Ireland: a quasi-experiment. Journal of Elections, Public Opinion and Parties 10.1080/17457289.2022.2090951. (In press). Green open access

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Abstract

The UK’s decision to leave the European Union has raised questions about whether Brexit might bring “the Troubles” back to Northern Ireland. We exploit the timing of a unique survey to examine how the EU referendum campaign and its outcome shaped perceptions about the past conflict and preferences for the future in Northern Ireland. The survey reveals that, after the Leave vote, people were more likely to perceive the partitioning of the Island of Ireland and illegitimate rule of Westminster as important conflict causes. Respondents surveyed after the referendum were also more likely to see reunification with Ireland as desirable, and changes in conflict perceptions contributed to this change in preferences for the future. At the same time, public responses seem to be the result of a gradual change during the campaign rather than a shock effect to the outcome, and effects decay quickly. These findings contribute to a better understanding of the micro-foundations driving post-Brexit public opinion in Northern Ireland and the potential consequences of holding contentious referendums more generally.

Type: Article
Title: The past, Brexit, and the future in Northern Ireland: a quasi-experiment
Open access status: An open access version is available from UCL Discovery
DOI: 10.1080/17457289.2022.2090951
Publisher version: https://doi.org/10.1080/17457289.2022.2090951
Language: English
Additional information: © 2022 The Author(s). Published by Informa UK Limited, trading as Taylor & Francis Group This is an Open Access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivatives License (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc-nd/4.0/), which permits non-commercial re-use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited, and is not altered, transformed, or built upon in any way.
UCL classification: UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > UCL SLASH > Faculty of S&HS
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > UCL SLASH > Faculty of S&HS > Dept of Political Science
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > UCL SLASH
UCL
URI: https://discovery.ucl.ac.uk/id/eprint/10152040
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