To argue that we are already ‘after Britain’ suggests that the fate of Britishness has already been decided. This reading posits a static condition which concedes the continuing, if temporary, fact of the Union and a new dynamic nationalism. This state of mind can be called ‘endism’ and while it is disposed towards the future it assumes that history can be understood as an intelligible design, the constructive pattern of which reveals the end unfolding. It has always informed thinking about Northern Ireland, implicitly and explicitly. The ‘inevitability of Irish unity’ has haunted and continues to haunt political commentary. This Chapter takes a dissenting view and proposes a different perspective. It argues that this perspective allows a more subtle understanding of change since the Belfast (or Good Friday) Agreement of 1998.
|Title of host publication||Breaking Up Britain|
|Publisher||Lawrence and Wishart|
|Publication status||Published - 2009|