Department or Program



The Troubles spanned far beyond the borders of Northern Ireland, and international involvement in the conflict preceded the efforts of the Clinton administration. This thesis offers a global perspective of the Northern Ireland conflict in the 1980s, with a focus on the role of the United States and the Provisional Irish Republican Army. These perspectives are driven by archival evidence, ranging from the personal correspondence of republican arms smugglers to recently released documents from the Northern Ireland Office. The opening section of this thesis explores the resurgence of Irish-American republicanism in the wake of the 1981 hunger strikes, noting the role of class and international connections. The thesis then analyzes the scale and aim of British diplomatic and public relations efforts in the United States, as well as the rise of constitutional nationalist American politicians, including figures like Edward Kennedy and Thomas “Tip” O'Neill. This thesis argues that by the end of the 1980s, international developments surrounding the Troubles provided the roots necessary for the peace process.

Level of Access

Restricted: Embargoed [Bates Community After Expiration]

First Advisor

Shrout, Anelise

Date of Graduation


Degree Name

Bachelor of Arts

Number of Pages


Components of Thesis

1 pdf file


Available to Bates Community via local IP address or Bates login on Wednesday, March 31, 2021.