This book offers the first ever ethnography of the Orange Order in Scotland via an in-depth analysis of ‘The Good’ of exceptionalism. While stylistically similar to Freemasonry, the Orange Order differs in being a strictly Protestant-only fraternity committed to preserving the Reformation and the constitutional union of the United Kingdom. Established in late eighteenth-century Ulster, the Order today is not only ultra-Protestant and ultra-unionist, but, according to critics, is also deeply sectarian, viewing Roman Catholicism as a despotic religious-cum-political ‘menace’ dedicated to destroying Great Britain. Through a fine-grained anthropological account of Orangeism during the Scottish independence debate, this book takes readers inside Scotland’s most infamous fraternal organisation – an organisation which members refer to not as a secret society, but as a ‘society with secrets’. What, according to these Scottish Orangemen, should a good Protestant life look like? By drawing on new literature within the anthropology of ethics and morality, this book answers this central question by examining the culture of Scottish Orangeism in the widest possible sense, assessing the importance not only of loyalist marches and unionist political campaigning, but also Orange gossip and fraternal drinking, the performance of ritual and secrecy, celebrations of football fandom and sectarian hate, as well as the formation and sharing of anti-Catholic conspiracy narratives. Combining ethnographic depth with analytical breadth, this book argues that what makes the Order so compelling to members yet so repugnant to its critics is its steadfast refusal to separate religion from politics and fraternity from ethnicity.
This book presents the rich fabric of language, clothing, food, and architecture which forms the diverse religious, political, cultural and ethnic identities of humanity. The colour of a scarf, the accent of a conversation, can unite people or divide them, and the smallest detail can play its part in signalling who are allies and who are enemies, as much for elites as for citizens in a democracy. Human identity is neither rigidly determined nor unpredictable and spontaneous, but between those two extremes is the forum on which the public life of humanity is generated. After a century in which an assumption was held across the ideological spectrum from left to right and from Marxists to economic individualists that the rational pursuit of material gain underlay social and political activity, the fundamental importance of the cultivation and preservation of identity is re-emerging across the whole spectrum of politics in which Britain is one example only. Yet while identity is the dimension in which public life is conducted, it is inherently paradoxical: on the one hand people cultivate their identity by association with a group, or religion, or nation, whilst on the other hand they distinguish themselves from their associates within those groups by presenting an intensified or purer form of the qualities which otherwise unite them. So identity simultaneously generates equality and inequality, between identification by association, and identity by exclusion and differentiation; it is both the engine of public life, and the cause of its confusion and conflict. This Open Access edition was funded by London School of Economics and Political Science.
Why do governments pass freedom of information laws? The symbolic power and force surrounding FOI makes it appealing as an electoral promise but hard to disengage from once in power. However, behind closed doors compromises and manoeuvres ensure that bold policies are seriously weakened before they reach the statute book. The politics of freedom of information examines how Tony Blair's government proposed a radical FOI law only to back down in fear of what it would do. But FOI survived, in part due to the government's reluctance to be seen to reject a law that spoke of 'freedom', 'information' and 'rights'. After comparing the British experience with the difficult development of FOI in Australia, India and the United States – and the rather different cases of Ireland and New Zealand – the book concludes by looking at how the disruptive, dynamic and democratic effects of FOI laws continue to cause controversy once in operation.
FOI and the remaking of politics
FOI regimes exist in a constant state of change and flux with conflicting pressures to
expand and be dismantled. The dynamics and contradictions that form FOI laws are
carried over into their implementation. The mobilisation and counter-mobilisation
continue as resources, interpretation and support are contested over the fundamental questions of ‘what’, ‘to whom’, ‘how’ and ‘when’ (Barberis 2010, 122). However,
reform attempts are uncertain and frequently short-lived.
Remaking politics with FOI
Patashnik and Zelizer (2013
Separate but equal? Schools and the politics of religion and diversity in the Republic of Ireland focuses on the historical and current place of religion in the Irish education system from the perspective of children’s rights and citizenship. It offers a critical analysis of the political, cultural and social forces that have perpetuated the patronage system, looks at the ways in which the denominational model has been adapted to increased religious and cultural diversity in Irish society and shows that recent changes have failed to address persistent discrimination and the absence of respect for freedom of conscience. It relates current debates on the denominational system and the role of the State in education to Irish political thought and conceptions of national identity in Ireland, showing the ways in which such debates reflect a tension between nationalist-communitarian and republican political outlooks. There have been efforts towards accommodation and against instances of discrimination within the system, but Irish educational structures still privilege communal and private interests and hierarchies over equal rights, either in the name of a de facto ‘majority’ right to religious domination or by virtue of a deeply flawed and limited view of ‘parental choice’.
Politics and citizenship
The key challenge facing both Government and Irish society in the period ahead
is the need to integrate people of a different culture, ethnicity, language and
religion so that they become part of our nation, part of the Irish family in the
21st century. (Fianna Fáil, 2009)
This chapter examines immigrant political participation and the role of citizenship in the political integration of immigrants. Firstly, it considers bottom-up
efforts of immigrants to participate in electoral politics since 2004, when two
former asylum seekers
aspiring politicians would have questioned the desirability of democracy, however much they might have sought to evade, undermine, or destroy it in practice, this formal or merely compliant accord obscured rather than addressed the problems of democratic government and politics. For there to be government, by the people or by anyone else, there has to be someone to be governed. Even ‘self-government’ by an individual depends on there being a divided self, the rebellious id and the controlling super-ego. Though democracy is government by the people it is also government
possible solution a formal change to the Order’s laws and constitutions? And why, finally, despite his fear of becoming a ‘laughing stock’, did Dennis implore me to include the incident, ‘warts and all’, when writing my book?
In asking questions such as these, this book will examine not only the ethnographic specificities of flags lowered, hate expressed, jokes made, and laws proposed, but will do so by placing such ethnographic phenomena within a wider historical, social, and political context. Here, a series of ‘isms’ familiar to those who have some knowledge of the
Ulster politics of ‘No Surrender!’ have in common with a Scots-unionism of ‘no separation’? What, in this context, does it mean to call for ‘a modern-day Reformation’? How does the Orange Order’s staunchly Protestant ‘British Together’ campaign relate to the thoroughly secular civic-unionism of the mainstream ‘Better Together’ campaign, from which it pointedly took its name? It is questions such as these that this chapter will consider.
My argument is that the Rev. Forsyth’s words, and the way they speak to wider Orange ideas about Britishness and Scottish
Scottish Covenanter Memorials Association. Unlike many of my Scots-Orange informants, as an ardent traditionalist, Jonathan had never turned his back on the Scottish Conservatives, remaining a faithful (if beleaguered) Tory, even after Margaret Thatcher signed the Anglo-Irish Agreement in 1985, and throughout their electoral struggles during the early devolution years (see Smith 2011 ). Jonathan’s moderate politics and generally restrained personality contrasted strongly with Derek, a powerfully built and outspoken retired coal miner in his early seventies. As well as