Thinking about Ireland and the Irish diaspora
in Are the Irish different?
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Emigration has been a defining feature of Irish history and is a key motif of the social and economic crisis. Thinking about the Irish diaspora and its multiplicity is a central aspect of Irish studies. This chapter examines the complexity and hybridity of different diaspora spaces to which the Irish have emigrated. Greater understanding of Ireland and Irishness involves greater knowledge of the complexity of the diaspora. This complexity in part is due to the different contexts of national formation in which settlement has taken place. The chapter looks at who is taken as belonging in Ireland and how traditional views on this are being challenged. It focuses on the exclusion of Irish citizens abroad from full political participation in the life of the nation. Relations with the diaspora are central to salient discussions of the need for change in the Irish political system.

Editor: Tom Inglis

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