Revising the 1975 PIRA ceasefire through the lens of prospect theory

Article


Harris, Benjamin. 2022. "Revising the 1975 PIRA ceasefire through the lens of prospect theory." Irish Studies Review. 30 (3), pp. 317-339. https://doi.org/10.1080/09670882.2022.2103919
Article Title

Revising the 1975 PIRA ceasefire through the lens of prospect theory

ERA Journal ID34813
Article CategoryArticle
AuthorsHarris, Benjamin
Journal TitleIrish Studies Review
Journal Citation30 (3), pp. 317-339
Number of Pages23
Year2022
PublisherTaylor & Francis
Place of PublicationUnited Kingdom
ISSN0967-0882
1469-9303
Digital Object Identifier (DOI)https://doi.org/10.1080/09670882.2022.2103919
Web Address (URL)https://www.tandfonline.com/doi/full/10.1080/09670882.2022.2103919
Abstract

The 1975 Provisional Irish Republican Army (PIRA) ceasefire marked a key period in the Northern Irish Troubles and provided an opportunity for peace to be reached more than 20 years before the Good Friday Agreement would be signed. Past commentaries have argued failure was the result of the PIRA being misled into the ceasefire by the British who falsified their true position, the PIRA leadership being too bound to ideology to appreciate the British negotiating position, and British forces outside of the Prime Minister’s Office creating the perception that the British were not prepared to negotiate. By using prospect theory as an explanation of the PIRA’s decision making, this article argues that the political wing of the organisation, i.e. Sinn Féin, was not developed enough to fully appreciate the political incentives the British Government was offering the PIRA in exchange for a permanent ceasefire.

KeywordsProvisional Irish Republican Army; prospect theory; ceasefire; negotiation; The Troubles; Northern Ireland
ANZSRC Field of Research 2020440217. Terrorism
440808. International relations
430308. European history (excl. British, classical Greek and Roman)
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Byline AffiliationsSchool of Humanities and Communication
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