Preparing to Maximise Losers’ Consent in Potential Irish Unity Referendums
John Garry and Brendan O’Leary
We elaborate a strategy to be used by those who advocate changing the sovereign status of a territory but who wish to maximise losers’ consent while retaining their support base and persuading pivotal undecided voters. We illustrate the strategy in action in the case of potential referendums on Irish unity. Drawing on evidence from specially designed surveys and focus groups, North and South, we specify: an optimised version of a united Ireland; when this version of unity should be pledged; and who is to be persuaded about the merits of this version of unity, and by whom. This type of strategy would enable careful preparation for potential Irish unity referendums, help avoid the kind of post-referendum acrimony associated with “Brexit”, and – more generally – contribute to peaceful transition in the context of divisive referendums where change in the sovereign status of a territory is at stake.
|Name||Dr Michele Crepaz|