Steve Coleman
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The centralised government of liquidity
Community, language and culture under the Celtic Tiger

Irish language culture embodies all the tensions and contradictions historically pertaining to the relationships between community, nation and state. The Irish state has followed patterns typical of nineteenth- and twentieth-century nation building, in that it has sought to establish a unity of geographic space, language and ethnic culture. Rural Irish-speakers encountered colonial power relations, the ideologies and practices of political economy and the English language as one package. The Irish state portrayed the Gaeltacht as the 'storehouse' or 'treasure' of identity in a nation state. As 'the crucible of Irish postmodernity', the Gaeltacht has become the state's testing ground for decentralisation and local governance, as well as for the progressive recognition of linguistic and cultural minority rights. By opening up closed networks of both community and governance, Gaeltacht activism has pointed the way for the reduced role of the postmodern Irish state in its Celtic Tiger phase.

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The end of Irish history?

Critical reflections on the Celtic Tiger

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