Loyal to the Core?
The Orange Order remains the largest organization in Northern Irish civil society, with a membership exceeding the combined total of all the political parties in the region. This book provides the first comprehensive membership survey of the Orange Order. Loyal to the Core? draws upon a detailed study of the Orange Order and on a wealth of individual interviews with Orange leaders and the Order's grassroots base. It begins with a historical outline of the Order's development, before turning to a detailed assessment of its contemporary struggle for relevance amid political marginalization, secularism, and diminished benefits to its membership. The book charts the views of members on how to adapt to external changes, explores the sense of belonging provided by membership, analyzes the repositories of loyalty that fuel their sense of Britishness, and assesses how the century-old relationship with the Ulster Unionist Party was replaced by a shift in allegiances. The book also examines the calls for Unionist unity made by the leadership and analyzes the membership's desire for a broad Unionist front.
Publication Date: 9/28/2011