Katy Hayward
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Identity, nation and community
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This chapter examines the conceptualisation of identity in Irish official discourse in relation to the definition of the Irish ‘nation’ and the European ‘community’. ‘Nation’ and ‘community’ constitute the broad conceptual frameworks for identity in nation-statehood and European Union (EU), respectively. These frameworks are legitimated and strengthened through the use of narratives, including story-lines regarding significant historical events and normative judgements as to their contemporary relevance. The new model of the European community conceives identity in terms of multidimensional forms, from local to European. This chapter explores the way in which the traditional and new frameworks, narratives, and models of the nation and the European community have been brought together in Irish official discourse since the 1970s. After a summary of the traditional conception of the Irish nation, it considers the way in which this conception has been upheld in Ireland's approach to the EU. This then leads into an analysis of the way in which Irish official discourse has utilised the European conception of community in developing an ‘agreed’ approach to Northern Ireland.

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Irish nationalism and European integration

The official redefinition of the island of Ireland


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