By Etain Tannam (auth.)
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Extra resources for Cross-Border Cooperation in the Republic of Ireland and Northern Ireland
The power of unionist conviction was thus made clear to the British government and public. It was then that the British Prime Minister, Asquith, asked Bonar Law what the unionist definition of its nation was. How many counties did such a nation include? The key point is that the different mould mentioned by Foster divided not Ulster from the rest of Ireland, but four counties from the nine counties that comprise Ulster. It was in these four counties that Protestant majorities existed. These counties were Belfast, Londonderry/Derry (apart from Londonderry/Derry city), Antrim and Down.
P. 581). However, arguably, 'the experiment of coercive consociationalism is certainly being tried, even if not all framers of the AIA intended to try it' (O'Leary, op. , 581). Thus, the consociationalism model at EU level complements the aims of Anglo-Irish policy-makers. The EU may provide an example to Northern Irish groups of how power can be shared without sovereignty or identity being ceded. The second reason consociationalism is of relevance to the crossborder relationship specifically is that if it is assumed that the EU operates as a consociation, then it may provide a framework for greater consociationalism within Northern Ireland and for greater cross-border cooperation in general.
At the same time a framework may be created within which dissenting minorities can be allowed eventually a measure of autonomy (Taylor, op. , p. 113). The members of the elite cartel will have an interest in increasing their benefits from the EU, but will also seek to protect their autonomy. Thus, members of the cartel will use the cartel's common arrangements where it suits them to achieve specific interests, but will resist the expansion of common policies, if these policies are not in its interests.