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All Working Papers

QUB Irish Studies Working Papers

All working papers listed by date of submission / amendment, with abstracts and publication information.


AuthorTitle, Abstract and Publication InformationVersion No.Subject AreaPDF Text
Dobrianska, Nadia (QUB)

Finding aid: Digital sources on the inter-communal violence in Belfast in 1920-1922. 

Abstract: The inter-communal conflict in Belfast in 1920-1922 was, arguably, one of the most violent episodes of the Irish Revolution. It claimed lives of up to 500 people, up to 10,000 workers were expelled from their jobs and 23,000 people became homeless. This finding aid presents the digitised primary sources available on the conflict in the two collections of the Military Archives of Ireland: Bureau of Military History (BMH) and the Military Service Pension Collection (MSPC).


1 (Apr. 2021) History / Politics and Conflict Studies Dobrianska1v1 
Hargy, Richard (QUB)

The State Department's Northern Ireland Envoys and the redemption of the Good Friday Agreement

Abstract: The George W. Bush administration’s intervention in Northern Ireland from 2001 to 2007 was decisive and remains undervalued and misunderstood. Throughout this time the US State Department determined American involvement in the region with responsibility for strategy falling to two successive directors of the Policy Planning Staff: Richard Haass and Mitchell Reiss. This paper demonstrates how the sources and operations of these men’s decision-making authority enabled the US to intercede as a third-party actor with the results being pivotal to the restoration of devolution in May 2007. State Department control of US involvement in Northern Ireland points to a manner of US intervention that I posit as assertive unilateralism.

1 (Mar. 2021) Conflict Studies / History / International Relations Hargy1.v1
Colvin, Christopher (QUB) and McLoughlin, Eoin (UCC)

Death, Demography and the Denominator: Age-Adjusted Influenza-18 Mortality in Ireland

Abstract: Using the Irish experience of the 1918-19 Spanish flu pandemic (“Influenza-18”), we demonstrate that pandemic mortality statistics are sensitive to the demographic composition of a country. We build a new spatially disaggregated population database for Ireland’s 32 counties for 1911-20 with vital statistics on births, ageing, migration and deaths. Our principal contribution is to show why, and how, age-at-death data should be used to construct the age-standardised statistics necessary to make meaningful comparisons of mortality across time and space. We conclude that studies of the economic consequences of pandemics must better control for demographic factors if they are to yield useful policy-relevant insights. For example, while Northern Ireland had a higher crude death rate during the first wave of the Covid-19 pandemic, it also has an older population; age-adjusted mortality paints a very different picture.

This paper has been published in Economics and Human Biology, 41 (2021).

1 (Jan, 2021) Economic History; History ColvinMcLaughlin 1.v.1 
Kennedy, Liam (QUB) & Solar, Peter (Bruxelles)

The famine that wasn't: 1799-1801 in Ireland

Abstract: As the 19th century opened the Irish poor had far more immediate and important concerns than controversies relating to the Act of Union. In the wake of two successive bad harvests in 1799 and 1800 food prices in Ireland soared to heights, relative to pre-crisis levels, that exceeded those of the Great Famine of the 1840s. The mystery, therefore, is why excess mortality turned out to be light relative to the repeated shocks to people’s living standards.  The answers lie in the realms of political economy, epidemic disease, and the nature of Irish rural society circa 1800.


1 (Dec. 2020) Economic History; History Kennedy & Solar 1.v.1
Gray, Peter (QUB)

Representations of Irish Famine and Rebellion in the British Satirical Press, 1845-49

Abstract: This paper considers the representation of the Great Irish Famine (1845-50) and the Young Ireland Rebellion of 1848 through the prism of several lesser-known British satirical periodicals of the period, principally Joe Miller the Younger (1845), The Man in the Moon (1847-8) and The Puppet Show (1848-9). It compares their treatment of Irish issues to that of the more successful Punch (to which they emerged as rival publications), and assesses the likely impact of such satirical visual outputs on British debates about the Irish crisis. The paper gives particular attention to the work of the French satirical artist Paul Gavarni in The Puppet Show.

1 (Dec. 2020) History Gray 1.v.1 

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