Dieter Reinisch

Junior Core Fellow
Period of Stay: 
October 2019 - June 2020
University of Vienna
Project Title: 
Subjectivity, Political Education, and Resistance: An Oral History of Irish Republican Prisoners, 1971-2000
Project Abstract: 

Of the many groups supporting the Northern Irish peace process in the 1990s, one of the most remarkable is that of the former inmates of internment camps and prisons. What makes this group so noteworthy is the fact that it was formed of collectives of political prisoners who were almost entirely self-educated. Based on 34 oral history interviews with former political prisoners, this research analyzes the role Irish Republican activists in the internment camps and prisons played, as well as their interaction with the outside Irish Republican movement beyond the high-profile hunger strikes of 1980/81. Consequently, the work contributes to the modern history of Britain and Ireland by throwing light on one of the key factors that facilitated the peace process in the 1990s. In this way, I demonstrate how political prisoners can perform an active role in international peace processes.