Diasporas and ambiguous homelands : a perspective on the Irish border

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Title: Diasporas and ambiguous homelands : a perspective on the Irish border
Authors: Howard, Kevin
Permanent link: http://hdl.handle.net/10197/2192
Date: 2006
Abstract: 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.
Funding Details: Not applicable
Type of material: Working Paper
Publisher: University College Dublin. Institute for British-Irish Studies
Copyright (published version): The author, 2006
Keywords: Diaspora;Ireland;Migration;Boundaries
Subject LCSH: Nationalists--Ireland
Nationalists--Northern Ireland
Northern Ireland--Relations--Ireland
Ireland--Relations--Northern Ireland
Language: en
Status of Item: Not peer reviewed
Conference Details: 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.
Appears in Collections:Institute for British-Irish Studies (IBIS) Working Papers and Policy Papers

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