The greatest problem besetting the study of Irish republicanism is the tendency to see the movement in isolation from broader currents of both international and Irish politics. An iron curtain appears to exist in the minds of observers which precludes the possibility of mutual influence between republicanism and the rest of the world. Just as the media present the IRA as an organisation driven by internal and often irrational forces, so too more reflective and academic studies have tried to analyse the IRA solely in terms of its own history and its own experience of confrontation with the British state.