The Organizational and Political Evolution of the Workers’ Party of Ireland

Richard Dunphy, Stephen Hopkins

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

    8 Citations (Scopus)


    The Workers’ Party of Ireland (WP) was almost alone amongst West European communist and workers’ parties in having experienced steady, if modest, electoral growth throughout the 1980s. Like other Marxist parties, it was nevertheless forced to grapple with problems of identity, ideology and strategy in the wake of the collapse of communist rule in the East. Its history marks it out as a singular case amongst such parties. The party is a recent convert to Marxism-Leninism, and a new generation of WP leaders sought by the late 1980s to transcend that ideology's perceived limitations. Their efforts were resisted by an older leadership generation which had zealously adopted Marxism-Leninism as a model for party-building during the 1970s. The ensuing conflict led to a split in the WP and the creation of a new party—Democratic Left- by the reform-oriented majority in March 1992.

    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)91-118
    Number of pages28
    JournalJournal of Communist Studies
    Issue number3
    Publication statusPublished - 1992

    ASJC Scopus subject areas

    • Development
    • Geography, Planning and Development
    • Political Science and International Relations


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