Garrett O’Boyle

Trinity College Dublin


Abstract: People do political violence for a reason. That is, the tactic of violence is resorted to in order to achieve a purpose. So what might lead the perpetrators of political violence to abandon its use and embrace peaceful democratic political activity? From the perspective of the perpetrator, the answer will lie in the nature of the ends/means relationship and the re-evaluation of the usefulness of particular means to achieve a given end. This paper explores the Irish Republican Movement’s ‘transition to democracy’ and its apparent adoption of a different interpretation of democracy that no longer prioritises simple majoritarianism.