Communism in Cold War Belfast, 1945-62

Smylie, P. 2020. Communism in Cold War Belfast, 1945-62. Labour History Review. 85 (1), pp. 59-83.

TitleCommunism in Cold War Belfast, 1945-62
TypeJournal article
AuthorsSmylie, P.

This article traces the history of communism in Belfast during 1945-62. Beginning with an assessment of the local Communist Party’s strength and ambitions in the immediate post-war period, it examines rapid membership decline and deteriorating relations with the Northern Ireland Labour Party, suggesting these developments were exacerbated by the onset of the Cold War, internationally and domestically, and rising tensions relating to the Irish National Question in the late 1940s. It argues that communists were able to maintain their influence over industrial relations in Belfast, even as they adopted an increasingly anti-partitionist posture on the Irish ‘National Question’. Indeed, the article shows that the Cold War, particularly in its domestic manifestation, directly reinforced the Communist Party’s latent anti-partitionism.

KeywordsBelfast, Communism, Cold War
JournalLabour History Review
Journal citation85 (1), pp. 59-83
PublisherLiverpool University Press
Accepted author manuscript
Digital Object Identifier (DOI)
Publication dates
Published07 Apr 2020
FunderNo funder

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