Aughey, Arthur

views updated

AUGHEY, Arthur


ADDRESSES: Offıce—Room 14G06, School of Economics and Politics, University of Ulster, Jordanstown Campus, Shore Road, Newtownabbey, County Antrim BT37 0QB, Northern Ireland. E-mail—a.aughey@ulst.

CAREER: University of Ulster, Newton Abbey, Northern Ireland, senior lecturer in politics.

MEMBER: Northern Committee of the Irish Association, Community Relations Council, Cultural Diversity Group, Cadogan Group (founder).


Conservative Party Attitudes toward the Common Market, Department of Politics, University of Hull (Hull, England), 1978.

(With Francesco Rizzuto and Philip Tether) TheEuropean Elections: A Case Study, Humberside, 1979, Department of Politics, University of Hull (Hull, England), 1979.

(With Philip Norton) Conservatives and Conservatism, Temple Smith (London, England), 1981.

(With Paul Hainsworth and Martin J. Trimble) Northern Ireland in the European Community: An Economic and Political Analysis, Policy Research Institute (Belfast, Northern Ireland), 1989.

Under Siege: Ulster Unionism and the Anglo-IrishAgreement, St. Martin's Press (New York, NY), 1989.

(With Greta Jones and W. T. M. Riches) The Conservative Political Tradition in Britain and the United States, Fairleigh Dickinson University Press (Rutherford, NJ), 1992.

(Editor, with Duncan Morrow) Northern Ireland Politics, Longman (New York, NY), 1996.

Nationalism, Devolution, and the Challenge to theUnited Kingdom State, Pluto Press (Sterling, VA), 2001.

Contributor to journals.

SIDELIGHTS: Arthur Aughey's academic areas of expertise include Irish—especially Northern Irish—politics and British conservative thought. He has written extensively about unionism, the political movement supporting Northern Ireland's role as a part of the United Kingdom—as opposed to nationalists or republicans, who would prefer to see it join with the Republic of Ireland—and his work takes a unionist point of view. Another focus of his writing is the United Kingdom's relinquishment of power to its member nations.

Under Siege: Ulster Unionism and the Anglo-Irish Agreement sets forth Aughey's objections to this pact from a unionist perspective and lays out his vision for Northern Ireland and the unionist movement. The Anglo-Irish Agreement of 1985—eventually superseded by the Good Friday accord of 1998, which provided for power-sharing between Northern Ireland's Catholics and Protestants—set up an intergovernmental body with representatives from both Northern Ireland and the Republic of Ireland, giving the republic a consulting role in Northern Ireland's affairs. Proponents of the agreement believed it would assist in the effort to end the sectarian violence that had plagued Northern Ireland for many years, but many unionists saw it as a capitulation to nationalist forces.

"Aughey minces no words in his denunciation of the agreement," reported Charles Townshend in American Political Science Review, "but he believes that it can be destroyed by progressive rather than atavistic unionist principles." Some unionists, noted Roy Wallis in Ethnic and Racial Studies, have been "notoriously more committed to preserving a Protestant state for a Protestant people than to ensuring justice and equal citizenship, but Aughey is not among them. He calls for 'full integration with the rest of the UK,'" Wallis related. With this, according to Wallis, Aughey believes that "Protestants will be assured of the permanence of the Union" and Catholics will be guaranteed the full rights of citizenship afforded by a pluralist democracy. Townshend remarked that the concept of full integration is often dismissed as the unionist equivalent of Republican impossibilism. Wallis pointed, out, though, that "there is a pervasive logic to Aughey's argument once one accepts his premise . . . that the modern state does not depend upon nationality or any other substantive identity, but rather upon a conception of citizenship grounded in universals of right or the rule of law, and that the United Kingdom is such a modern state." Wallis remained unconvinced that full integration will quell the political tensions between Northern Ireland's Protestants and Catholics, but believed Aughey's "defence of the principle of integration is one of the most intelligently argued documents to emanate from unionism. It demolishes prevailing pretensions, situates itself within a tradition of sophisticated and liberal unionist thought well worth rehabilitating, and provides an insightful application of political theory to partisan political argument."

Nationalism, Devolution, and the Challenge to the United Kingdom State looks at the effects of the United Kingdom's move in the late 1990s to shift political decision-making with regard to regional matters from the central government to bodies in Northern Ireland, Scotland, and Wales. Some political thinkers feared that such devolution would mean the breakup of the United Kingdom. Aughey makes the case that these fears are exaggerated and "wildly premature," remarked Times Literary Supplement reviewer Vernon Bogdanor, who deemed the book "level-headed," offering "an admirable and fair-minded account of the future of a United Kingdom under strain from developments in Europe and in the Celtic periphery."



American Political Science Review, March, 1991, Charles Townshend, review of Under Siege: Ulster Unionism and the Anglo-Irish Agreement, pp. 324-326.

Ethnic and Racial Studies, April, 1990, Roy Wallis, review of Under Siege, pp. 296-299.

Journal of Church and State, spring, 1991, Paul M. Canning, review of Under Siege, pp. 364-365.

Political Science Quarterly, fall, 1993, A. James Reichley, review of The Conservative Political Tradition in Britain and the United States, p. 559.

Public Administration, autumn, 1991, Brendan O'Leary, review of Northern Ireland in the European Community: An Economic and Political Analysis, pp. 410-412.

Times Literary Supplement, September 20, 1996, Paul Bew, "A World of Mutual Suspicion," p. 11; February 8, 2002, Vernon Bogdanor, "Shouting 'Britain' from the Back," p. 28.*