Reconversion through imprisonment? The post-detention activist pathways of republican paramilitaries in Northern Ireland (1970-2022) » with Hadrien Holstein

The LIVE-AR team is pleased to announce the third session of the « Activists pathways and political crises » seminar. It will take place on December 12th 2023, from 2pm to 4pm (Paris time) at CEPED (Paris Cité University – Campus Saint Germain) in Paris and also via Zoom. This session will be devoted to the research of Hadrien Holstein (ISP – Paris Nanterre University), who will present a lecture (in French) entitled « Reconversion through imprisonment ? The post-detention activist pathways of republican paramilitaries in Nothern Ireland (1970-2022) ».

It will take place at CEPED at the Paris Cité University, campus Saint-Germain and also via Zoom, and in French only.

Session summary

By looking at the activist pathways of Northern Ireland’s republican paramilitaries, this lecture will show that, paradoxically, the repressive action of the state provides an opportunity for incarcerated fighters to retrain. On their release, these fighters reinvested themselves in activist networks, where they enjoyed a partisan rise thanks to the value of their prison experience. We will look at these biographical pathways through the prism of the renewal of militant cohorts and the transformation of the contexts of commitment by analysing paramilitaries imprisoned during and after the Northern Ireland conflict.

Speaker’s biography

Hadrien Holstein is a doctoral student in political science at ISP ( Paris Nanterre University). His thesis focuses on the activist pathways of Irish republican paramilitaries who continue their commitment after their imprisonment. He is co-director of the AFSP research group on ‘Conflicts, crises and social breakdown’.

For further information about the seminar and to register, please email the LIVE-AR project team (