The British Left and Ireland in the Twentieth Century

Evan Smith, Matthew Worley

Research output: Book/ReportAnthologypeer-review


This collection explores how the British left has interacted with the ‘Irish question’ throughout the twentieth century, the left’s expression of solidarity with Irish republicanism and relationships built with Irish political movements.

Throughout the twentieth century, the British left expressed, to varying degrees, solidarity with Irish republicanism and fostered links with republican, nationalist, socialist and labour groups in Ireland. Although this peaked with the Irish Revolution from 1916 to 1923 and during the ‘Troubles’ in the 1970s–80s, this collection shows that the British left sought to build relationships with their Irish counterparts (in both the North and South) from the Edwardian to Thatcherite period. However these relationships were much more fraught and often reflected an imperial dynamic, which hindered political action at different stages during the century. This collection explores various stages in Irish political history where the British left attempted to engage with what was happening across the Irish Sea.

The chapters in this book were originally published in the journal, Contemporary British History.
Original languageEnglish
Place of PublicationAbingdon
PublisherRoutledge, Taylor & Francis
Number of pages186
ISBN (Electronic)9781000389005 , 9781003144762
ISBN (Print)9780367701468
Publication statusPublished - 2021


  • Politics and government
  • Great Britain
  • Ireland
  • political parties
  • right and left
  • British left


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