Covering the years 1920–1925, Without a Dog’s Chance is the first major study of Northern nationalists’ role in the Boundary Commission that they, and their allies in the Irish Free State, had hoped to use to end partition and destroy the new Northern state.
For Northern nationalists, the partition of Ireland was an intensely traumatic event, not only because it consigned almost half a million nationalists to a government that was not of their choosing, but also because they regarded partition as the mutilation of their Irish citizenship and nationhood.
Without a Dog’s Chance fills an important gap in the history of this period by focusing on the complex relationship between partition-era Northern and Southern nationalism, and the subordinate role Northern nationalists had in Ireland’s post-partition political landscape. Feeling under-valued, abandoned and exploited by their peers in the South, Northern nationalists were also radically marginalised within the new Northern Irish state, which regarded them with fear and suspicion.
With December 2020 marking one hundred years since partition, this timely book is essential reading.
Table of Contents
Introduction. The ‘Tips of Dangerous Icebergs’: Partition, the Nationalists of Northern Ireland and the Trapped Minority Framework
1. The Making of a Trapped Minority
2. ‘A Triumph of Gilbertian Humour’: Partition and the Anglo-Irish Treaty
3. Sisyphus Redux: Northern Nationalists and the Treaty Debates
4. ‘The Matter is Too Serious’: The Craig–Collins Pacts and Northern Conditions
5. ‘Hope Deferred’: The Northern Advisory Committee and Continued Instability in Ireland
6. The Woe that ‘Reckless Folly Brings’: The Irish Civil War and the Eclipse of the Boundary Commission
7. ‘No Other Policy’: Regime Change, Northern Policy and the ‘Hideous Skeletons’ of War
8. ‘Without Further Hugger-Mugger’: In Search of Peace and Clarity on the Boundary Question
9. ‘Not One Word!’: Watchman, Kevin O’Shiel and Dublin’s North Eastern Boundary Bureau
10. ‘Too Full of Secrecy and Mystery to be Wholesome’: Northern Nationalism, the Free State and Article 12 of the Treaty
11. ‘Do it Without Them’: Convening the Irish Boundary Commission
12. ‘Bartered and Sold’: The Wishes of the Inhabitants Denied
Epilogue and Conclusion. ‘Blessed are they that Expect Nothing …’
About the Author
James Cousins holds a PhD in history from Simon Fraser University, Canada, and master’s degrees in political science and Indigenous public policy. James is originally from the Annapolis Valley of Nova Scotia, and he currently works as a Senior Policy Advisor for the Ontario Ministry of Indigenous Affairs, specialising in matters related to Indigenous governance and self-determination.