Northern Ireland

LAUNCH: Interview Quotes and Animations

One of the core elements of the PI project was to compile a database of qualitative data on the themes of Brexit and identity in Northern Ireland. In order to do this, we completed a series of interviews with individuals across Northern Ireland between February 2019 and March 2020.

We have analysed these interviews, and have prepared an academic journal article presenting our findings, to be published in due course. In the interim, we are delighted to be able to share some initial findings with everyone.

A series of quotes have been selected from these interviews – some extremely poignant, others insightful, and all important in their own ways in offering insight to different aspects of identity in Northern Ireland.

These quotes have been voiced by actors and in collaboration with Roots and Wings design collective, we have produced a series of short animated clips. The aim of these is to give an insight to the diversity of perspectives and experiences we encountered.

In our 2-part event later this month, we will delve further into our data in relation to Brexit’s impact. Registration for the first session (where the full PI team will be coming together to present our work) is available here: https://www.eventbrite.co.uk/e/performing-identities-brexit-and-northern-ireland-part-1-tickets-156666797609. Details for the second event – a panel discussion focussing on identity in Northern Ireland – will be announced in the coming days.

The full set of clips will be shared over the next few weeks on Twitter, and added to the website. Please follow this link to view the full collection.

We would like to extend our thanks once again to all those who took part in these interviews.

1 – Thoughts on the diversity of perspectives in Northern Ireland that contribute to what ‘identity’ means and how it is understood
2 – “This is who you are” Reflections on how outward expressions of identity and perceptions of others can be shaped by different factors
3 – On how perceptions of others can be shaped by things such as accent, words, and dress (particularly tops from different sports)
4 – “I think a lot of people do it here.” An account of how perceptions of identity can influence the way everyday interactions unfold
5 – How has the women’s movement navigated the challenges of historical division in Northern Ireland?
Reflections on how for members of the LGBTQ+ community, Northern Ireland and its politics can be difficult to navigate

EVENT: Performing Identities: Brexit and Northern Ireland

We are very excited to share that PI will be hosting a two-part event in June on the theme of Brexit and Northern Ireland.

Performing Identities: Brexit and Northern Ireland – Part 1

Wednesday 23rd June 2021 – 12.30-1.30pm (Online)

In this lunchtime seminar, PI team members will present key findings from the extensive catalogue of work completed as part of the ESRC-funded ‘Performing Identities’ project, as well as analysis of research that will be publicly shared for the first time.

This session will include work on citizenship and rights, multilevel governance, archival research and key findings from a series of interviews conducted as part of the project exploring identity and Brexit in Northern Ireland. The event will conclude with a Q&A.

Registration is now live and available here: https://www.eventbrite.co.uk/e/performing-identities-brexit-and-northern-ireland-part-1-tickets-156666797609

The second event will take place the following day (Thursday 24th June) at 1pm – further details and registration information for this will be released soon. Keep an eye on the website and our Twitter account for further updates.

We look forward to seeing you there!

BLOG: Examining the DUP in Northern Ireland

PI has contributed analysis to a number of outlets on recent developments within Northern Ireland’s Democratic Unionist Party (DUP).

In a week that saw a party revolt, the resignation of the First Minister and the announcement of the party’s first leadership campaign in its existence, the team have tweeted, written and spoken about events as they have unfolded.

PI’s Clare Rice was interviewed twice on the BBC News Channel, and prepared a blog analysing the situation for LSE Politics and Policy, available to read here.

Clare was also interviewed by France’s ‘Le Monde’ newspaper about the implications of the changes within the DUP for politics and power-sharing in Northern Ireland. A summary of her analysis was reported in this article: https://www.lemonde.fr/international/article/2021/04/29/en-irlande-du-nord-les-unionistes-en-crise_6078493_3210.html

The team will continue to share updates on all the latest developments in Northern Ireland on our Twitter – @performidentity

BLOG: Examining the Riots in Northern Ireland

PI’s Clare Rice has written an article examining some of the root causes that have led to rioting, protests and violence in Northern Ireland over recent weeks.

Published by the UK in a Changing Europe think-tank, the piece highlights that a combination of multiple factors have contributed to these scenes, one of which has been the Protocol on Ireland/Northern Ireland.

The full article is available to read at this link: https://ukandeu.ac.uk/riots-in-northern-ireland-an-explanation/

PI at PSA Annual Conference 2021

The Political Studies Association’s annual conference kicks off on Monday 29th March. Intended to be held in Belfast, the event will be conducted entirely online in light of the Covid-19 pandemic.

Performing Identities will be presenting two papers over the coming days; very handily, both will be happening in the same session!

Clare Rice will be presenting a solo piece of research examining the implementations of identity and governance provisions agreed in Northern Ireland’s ‘New Decade, New Approach’ deal one year on.

The second will be a joint presentation from Clare Rice, Megan Armstrong and Ben Warwick, outlining some key findings from interviews completed in Northern Ireland on the theme of identity and Brexit.

For those attending the conference, these will be happening in Panel 919 on Wednesday 31st March (9am-10.30am).

Evidence Submission to the Northern Ireland Affairs Committee ‘Citizenship and Passport Processes’ Inquiry

PI’s Colin Murray and Clare Rice have submitted evidence to the Northern Ireland Affairs Committee as part of the ‘Citizenship and Passport Processes in Northern Ireland’ Inquiry.

The submission examines some of the post-Brexit complexities that Brexit has given rise to in Northern Ireland for citizenship, particularly in relation to the provisions of the Good Friday/Belfast Agreement.

Their submission is available to download here:


This is a topic that the PI has also written extensively on, including a report for the Northern Ireland Human Rights Commission. See ‘Continuing EU Citizenship “Rights, Opportunities and Benefits” in Northern Ireland after Brexit‘ for more analysis on this.

Explainer: Article 16 of the Protocol on Ireland/Northern Ireland

In light of the challenges that have been seen with the Northern Ireland Protocol since it came into force on 1st January 2021, there have been calls for the UK Government to use Article 16 of the Protocol as a means to solving these issues.

The UK Government has been reluctant to take this step. But in the face of mounting pressure on the UK Government to use it, and increased discussion about it, the complexity of Article 16 has come under close scrutiny.

But what is Article 16, how does it work, and what does it mean?

PI’s Clare Rice prepared an explainer on this for UK in a Changing Europe. This concise guide is available to read in full here: https://ukandeu.ac.uk/explainers/article-16-of-the-northern-ireland-protocol/

Blog: “Free us”: the DUP’s Northern Ireland Protocol Strategy

Developments have been happening at a mile a minute in Northern Ireland since the Northern Ireland Protocol came into force on 1st January 2021.

PI’s Clare Rice prepared an article for LSE Brexit examining these developments, looking specifically at the five-point strategy Northern Ireland’s DUP published in response to the challenges the Protocol has given rise to.

The DUP, having been complicit in creating the conditions that gave rise to the present situation, is now having to do the political equivalent of fighting the fires it stoked. The five-point plan that has been announced is, in effect, the party’s strategy of how it intends to do this.

Clare Rice, LSE Brexit blog

The full article is available to read in full at this link: https://blogs.lse.ac.uk/brexit/2021/02/04/free-us-the-dups-northern-ireland-protocol-strategy/

Evidence to Bill of Rights Committee

PI’s Colin Murray and Clare Rice have submitted evidence to the Northern Ireland Assembly’s Ad-hoc Committee on a Bill of Rights. This evidence has been submitted in response to the Committee’s on-going call for evidence covering different perspectives on a Bill of Rights for Northern Ireland.

The Committee is also conducting an online survey [available here] to gather a range of views – the deadline for completing this is 29th January 2021.

In the meantime, Colin and Clare’s submission can be viewed here: