Diasporas and ambiguous homelands : a perspective on the Irish border
19T15:47:03Z July 2010
This paper proposes a diaspora framework as a useful way of conceptualizing the relationship between the kin-state and northern Irish nationalists. The formation of diasporas is generally understood as being a consequence of migration. People migrate across borders and construct communities in their host states while maintaining a strong sense of linkage with the nation’s homeland. The homeland is central to diaspora. However, homelands are political constructs the parameters of which fluctuate. I argue that members of the northern nationalist community are outside the political homeland of their Irish co-ethnics as a result of boundary drawing rather than emigration. The paper highlights the rapidity with which the southern political elite consolidated southern statehood reflecting and further reinforcing a clear sense of north-south differentiation. Decades of divergent state building has further reinforced the relevance of the boundary in terms of southern ethnic identity, further emphasizing the rhetorical nature of calls of re-unification.
Type of Material
University College Dublin. Institute for British-Irish Studies
IBIS Working Papers
MFPP Working Papers
Copyright (Published Version)
The author, 2006
Subject – LCSH
Status of Item
Not peer reviewed
Revised version of a paper presented at the workshop on “The Irish border in perspective”, Queen’s University, Belfast, 1 October 2004, as part of the programme Mapping frontiers, plotting pathways: routes to North-South cooperation in a divided island.
This item is made available under a Creative Commons License