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Troubling MotherhoodMaternality in Global Politics$
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Lucy B. Hall, Anna L. Weissman, and Laura J. Shepherd

Print publication date: 2020

Print ISBN-13: 9780190939182

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: January 2020

DOI: 10.1093/oso/9780190939182.001.0001

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PRINTED FROM OXFORD SCHOLARSHIP ONLINE (oxford.universitypressscholarship.com). (c) Copyright Oxford University Press, 2021. All Rights Reserved. An individual user may print out a PDF of a single chapter of a monograph in OSO for personal use. date: 15 May 2021

Protestant Paramilitary Mothering

Protestant Paramilitary Mothering

Mothers and Daughters during the Northern Irish Troubles

(p.36) Chapter 3 Protestant Paramilitary Mothering
Troubling Motherhood

Sandra M. McEvoy

Oxford University Press

This chapter explores what often appear to be the irreconcilable differences between embracing and resisting normative tropes of maternity and motherhood that have long preoccupied some feminist scholars of International Relations. Drawing on interview data collected by McEvoy from 2006 to 2017, the chapter interrogates the use of political violence by politically violent mothers who served in Protestant paramilitary organizations (PPOs) in Northern Ireland during the 30-year conflict between 1968 and 1998. The chapter sheds new light on understanding mothers’ roles in political violence in their service to PPOs by exploring motivation for participation and familial opinions of this participation. To further complicate women’s revelations in this regard, the chapter investigates the strategic (gendered) benefits and implications of mothers who embrace political violence. The chapter also reaches beyond scholarly interpretations of motherhood and political violence by including of a coauthor and key informant, “Chloe White.” Chloe is a mother and former member of a PPO in Northern Ireland, and her insights on the relationship between political violence and motherhood complement similar insights from more than a dozen PPO mothers who participated in groups during the conflict.

Keywords:   Northern Ireland, paramilitary, Protestant, motherhood, political violence, gender, loyalist, troubles, conflict, feminist research

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