Ulsterisation and the Troubles thriller: Eoin McNamee's Resurrection Man

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Although the progression of peace is, in all likelihood, finally imperilling the ascendancy of the thriller as the literary venue for representing social and political life in contemporary Northern Ireland, the genre continues to provide important access points for understanding the Troubles. Eoin McNamee's grim and harrowing Resurrection Man, for example, may be the only contemporary Northern Irish novel to represent the British government's mid-1970s internal security strategy known as 'Ulsterisation'. By suggesting the various ways in which violence and subterfuge were nourished by government interests and supported by covert operatives, McNamee's novel subtly depicts a London intent on managing the conflict while insulating it from British politics and international criticism. Even as it does so, though, Resurrection Man ultimately struggles to avoid the thriller's more regressive tropes and generic conventions.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)65-76
Number of pages12
JournalIrish Studies Review
Issue number1
StatePublished - Feb 2012


  • Eoin McNamee
  • Resurrection Man
  • Troubles thriller
  • Ulsterisation
  • cartography
  • urban space


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