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The Republic and Northern Ireland since 1990

perspective, it is appropriate to look back at Ireland’s sorry political and economic state during the first half of the 1980s. A sharp, general downturn in western economies, generated partly by the 1979 oil crisis, had left Ireland particularly vulnerable. Unemployment reached alarming levels between 1979 and 1984, when an estimated 16.4 per cent of the workforce were jobless.1 As a result of the recession, at least a million people in the Republic were reliant on social benefits, 9780719075636_4_001.qxd 4 16/2/09 9:23 AM Page 4 Contexts a European report

in Irish literature since 1990
Political violence in the fiction of William Trevor

paving the way for a renewal of their friendship. Through these somewhat far-fetched means, Trevor emphasises the universal need for hope, including hope for a more peaceful future in Northern Ireland which the fragile new political arrangements flowing from the Good Friday Agreement were designed to bring about. This involved the setting up of a Stormont power-sharing executive in November 1999, the restoration of devolved government a month later, and, also in the closing months of the old millennium, IRA engagement with an international decommissioning body to put

in William Trevor
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Why queer(y) citizenship?

signifiers of national security and identity since the original settlement of the continent, but their narratives have become especially polarised in the last 30 years, and especially since the 2016 election of Donald Trump to the US presidency.26 The reality of and discourse around borders since 9/​11 has become increasingly politically charged, and at the time of writing, Donald Trump’s 27 January 2017 Executive Order, known more popularly as the Muslim Ban, figures North American borders as sites where citizenship and national identity can be contested by the state and

in Crossing borders and queering citizenship
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of masculinity for centuries. The battlefield presents the ultimate location for ‘being a man’. If alterations in the format of war shift the battlefield into the midst of civilian society, age-old understandings of gender difference may be problematised, if not destroyed. The changes in warfare during the twentieth century could be addressed from a variety of perspectives, political, cultural

in Gender and warfare in the twentieth century
The anthem of decolonization?

5 The Wretched of the Earth: the anthem of decolonization? Introduction In ‘La Socialthérapie dans un service d’hommes musulmans’, Fanon claims that psychiatry failed to take into account the importance of colonial politics in its analysis of madness. The assimilationist laws were at the origin of the alienation – in its psychiatric and socio-political sense of the term – of the colonized subject. As has been ascertained in the previous chapter, the assimilationist laws expropriated and displaced the colonized people, thereby negatively impacting on their

in Frantz Fanon, postcolonialism and the ethics of difference

-inflected version of the play. One year earlier, the Royal Shakespeare Company had staged Günter Grass’s The Plebeians Rehearse the Uprising: A German Tragedy, a play that critiques Brecht’s supposedly compromised political stance by fictionalizing the director’s rehearsal of his Coriolanus adaptation during the 1953 East Berlin workers’ uprising. Brecht’s techniques are also discernible in the RSC’s 1972

in Coriolanus
Making and unmaking a Whig Marvell

have seriously eroded his executive powers, Cromwell dissolved the first Protectoral Parliament at the earliest opportunity allowed by the Instrument of Government, on 22 January 1655, just days after the collector George Thomason acquired a copy of Marvell’s poem. How then are we to understand the gap between Marvell’s epideictic rhetoric in The First Anniversary and the realities of the political situation? Nigel Smith suggests that ‘If the poem offers apparent support to the Protector, the opinions of its author may not be so readily

in Aesthetics of contingency
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Alan Moore’s Swamp Thing and radical ecology

environmental activism, particularly as manifest in the contemporary social movement against man-made climate change, can be conceived as a Gothic politics invoking the malevolent spectre of a cataclysmic eco-apocalypse, which can only be averted through drastic societal transformation and the development of a new ecological sensibility. The sublime threat posed by a significant rise in

in Alan Moore and the Gothic Tradition
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E.J. Clery and Robert Miles

person has of his safety. In order to have this liberty, it is requisite the government be so constituted as one man need not be afraid of another’ (p. 163). Political liberty was ‘to be found only in moderate governments’ (p. 161). The key to such moderation was a constitution in which the principal powers of government (the executive, the legislative, and the judiciary) were separate and balanced

in Gothic documents
Liam O’Flaherty’s The Informer (1925)

, its psychological structure and its contemporary contours, are the subjects of O’Flaherty’s story. And it’s this sense of a novelist attempting to get to grips with the universal experience of betrayal in a peculiarly Irish context which, more than anything else, links The Informer with Ulysses. Political contexts O’Flaherty’s life and experiences between 1896 (when he was born) and 1924 (when he wrote the novel) prepared him for the images of treason and betrayal that he depicts in The Informer. Those experiences included a relatively impoverished upbringing on

in The Judas kiss