This article examines the political and ideological trajectory of the Provisional Republican movement in Ireland. By providing a critical overview of Provisional strategy and tactics, the article attempts to identify the historically fragmented nature of republican ideology and praxis. At key moments, Provisionalism has emphasized and endorsed a range of ideological themes and principles including ethnonationalism, socialism, and constitutional reformism. The tensions and contradictions inherent in this conceptual frame, and the contemporary turn toward conventional electoral politics, power sharing, and cultural pluralism explains the difficulty Provisionals have had in constructing a viable political project that conforms to deeply held and long-standing republican objectives. Moreover, the emphasis on ethnic particularism and identity politics, rather than on social egalitarianism suggests that the Provisionals may no longer be an appropriate vehicle for the articulation of a progressive political agenda in Ireland.

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