Now showing 1 - 7 of 7
  • Publication
    Diasporas and ambiguous homelands : a perspective on the Irish border
    (University College Dublin. Institute for British-Irish Studies, 2006)
    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.
      309
  • Publication
    Constructing the Irish of Britain : ethnic recognition and the 2001 UK censuses
    (University College Dublin. Institute for British-Irish Studies, 2004)
    Systems of ethnic monitoring are of fundamental importance in the context of policy commitments to improving the life-chances of minority ethnic groups. In effect, without a system of ethnic monitoring the targeting, implementation and gauging the outcomes of multicultural policies would be impossible. Primary amongst these systems of ethnic monitoring is the national census. The ethnic data generated comprise the informational foundation of multicultural policy. Moreover, these data are presented as a meaningful representation of ethnic plurality but, despite the validity ascribed to statistical representations of ethnic pluralism, on closer analysis they are shown to be of limited value. On the one hand, the institutionalisation of a particular pattern of ethnic designations has the effect of reifying this pattern, while at the same time it renders conceptually and statistically invisible those minority ethnic groups not included in the original patterning. On the other hand, the implementation of multicultural policies acts as an opportunity incentive for ethnic mobilisation for ethnic activists to lobby to secure the inclusion of the community they purport to represent in the multicultural framework. The consequence of this is that the list of ethnic designations (named groups) used on systems of ethnic monitoring can be subject to radical discontinuities: changes that reflect the outcomes of political struggles by ethnic entrepreneurs rather than deeper changes in the ethnic structure. The manner in which an “Irish” option came to be included on the ethnic group questions of the 2001 censuses of Great Britain is an example of the politics of ethnic monitoring. This paper presents an account of this activism, its successes and its consequences, and argues that despite the validity accorded to ethnic statistics in the context of multiculturalism they tell us little about sociological reality.
      865
  • Publication
    Cherry-picking the diaspora
    (Manchester University Press, 2007) ;
      514
  • Publication
    Europeanisation and hyphe-nation : renegotiating the identity boundaries of Europe’s western isles
    (University College Dublin. Institute for British-Irish Studies, 2002) ;
    This paper explores the feasibility and plausibility of the emergence of an Irish-British form of identification. We examine the possibility of such a hyphenated identity category in the context of those who consider themselves to be Irish whilst residing under the jurisdiction of the British state. The key developments in official recognition of new forms of identification in the Western Isles that may point to the emergence of an Irish-British identity are the inclusion of an “Irish” category in the 2001 British censuses and the recognition of a dual Irish and British identity as part of the Belfast Agreement in 1998. We examine these developments and assess the degree to which they support the notion of hyphenated identities. Our assessment draws a comparison between the meaning of identification in the European context and that of the United States of America and concludes that the continued dominance of territorially-defined national identities in Europe precludes the development of a hyphenated Irish-British identification along the lines of those prevalent in the USA.
      202
  • Publication
    Nationalist myths : revisiting Heslinga's "The Irish border as a cultural divide"
    (University College Dublin. Institute for British-Irish Studies, 2006)
    This paper offers a critique of MV Heslinga’s argument that the geographical structure of these islands has for millennia served to funnel interchange in an east-west direction, resulting in a deeply embedded cultural cleavage between the northern and southern regions of both Ireland and Great Britain. This form of geographical determinism lends itself to contemporary British/Ulster nationalism’s case for the naturalness of partition. In this way, it mirrors the geographical determinism of Irish nationalism. Both deploy geography in the service of political projects that are fundamentally grounded in recent political events the outcome of which was neither predictable nor inevitable.
      374
  • Publication
    Territorial politics and Irish cycling
    (University College Dublin. Institute for British-Irish Studies, 2006)
    This paper explores a particular sporting activity in which the complexities of the relationship between the two parts of Ireland, and between Northern Ireland and Great Britain, are vividly illustrated. Originally, cycling in Ireland was organised by two internationally recognised bodies, the Irish Cycling Federation (founded 1954) in the Republic and the Northern Ireland Cycling Federation (founded in 1949) in Northern Ireland. Alongside these was a third body, the National Cycling Association (founded in 1932), which operated on an all-island basis. Tensions between the three organisations were overcome in 1979 by a tripartite agreement, under which a new, internationally recognised all-Ireland body, the Federation of Irish Cyclists, appeared five years later. But this did not end the matter, and the paper discusses the failure of Northern Ireland Cycling Federation members to endorse this solution, the resulting split, and continuing efforts by that organisation (both before and after the 1998 Good Friday agreement) to define itself as a British- rather than an Irish-linked body.
      389
  • Publication
    Continuity and change in a partitioned civil society : Whyte revisited
    (University College Dublin. Institute for British-Irish Studies, 2006)
    This paper revisits John Whyte’s seminal 1983 article “The permeability of the United Kingdom-Irish border: a preliminary reconnaissance” (Whyte, 1983). The objective is to explore hypotheses Whyte put forward as to why some private organisations are all-Ireland while others follow the international boundary. He suggested that two variables are crucial in explaining this: the nature of the organisation’s activities and the date of its foundation. He also identified a lack of readily available information on foundation dates. To overcome this lacuna we carried out a survey of private organisations to ascertain their foundation date, area of activity and what if any territorial reconfiguring they have undergone. Using the same functional categories as Whyte our research is generally supportive of his initial findings. Civil society can act as a counter-force to the boundary reinforcing dynamics of separate state developments.
      185