Ben Tonra
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The narrative of the European Republic
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This chapter outlines the development and potency of the third grand narrative in Irish foreign policy—that of Ireland as a European Republic. It explains that this narrative is based on a particular conception of sovereignty and it argues that the Irish are part of a distinct regional family and underlines the limited nature of the Irish state's capacity to shape its external environment. This narrative was constructed from Ireland's historic engagement with the European mainland, from an understanding of Europe as representing modernity, and from an aspiration of normalcy. The strength of this narrative reflects the abiding preoccupation of Irish policy makers over the last thirty to forty years to place Ireland at the heart of the European project and to refract so much else of Irish foreign policy through that lens of Europeanness.

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Global citizen and European Republic

Irish foreign policy in transition


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