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Frontiers of ViolenceConflict and Identity in Ulster and Upper Silesia 1918-1922$
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Timothy Wilson

Print publication date: 2010

Print ISBN-13: 9780199583713

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: September 2010

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199583713.001.0001

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A Framework for Comparison

A Framework for Comparison

Chapter:
(p.21) 1 A Framework for Comparison
Source:
Frontiers of Violence
Author(s):

T. K. Wilson

Publisher:
Oxford University Press
DOI:10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199583713.003.0002

This chapter establishes a comparative framework for evaluating possible explanations for the striking discrepancy in conflict intensity between Ulster and Upper Silesia. It surveys the historical background and development of both conflicts. It considers the relative importance of factors such as the impact of the World War, militarism, class tensions, and international intervention, but these are not convincing as explanations for contrasts in conflict intensity. Finally, the chapter examines the importance of demographic structure: the balance of Irish nationalists and unionists in Ulster and of ‘Germans’ and ‘Poles’ in Upper Silesia. This approach inevitably raises the question of the nature of the boundaries separating these communal categories. It is argued that the ethno-linguistic boundary worked far less effectively to differentiate rival national movements in Upper Silesia, than did its ethno-religious equivalent in the north of Ireland.

Keywords:   Upper Silesia, Ulster, Northern Ireland, borderlands, militarism, class structure, international intervention, demography, ethno-religious, ethno-linguistic

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