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Constance Duncombe

The image of Iran stretches back thousands of years to the time of Cyrus the Great and the Persian Empire. The vast empire covered lands from Asia Minor to Europe and Egypt, and was the largest of its kind until the last emperor was overthrown by Alexander the Great. Thus, the components feeding into Iranian state identity have been continually negotiated and (re)constructed over time. Iranian state identity under the Pahlavi shahs, from 1925 until the overthrow of the last shah in 1979, is often understood as completely distinct from the post

in Representation, recognition and respect in world politics
Marie-Luce Desgrandchamps
Lasse Heerten
Arua Oko Omaka
Kevin O'Sullivan
, and
Bertrand Taithe

Role of Portugal in the Nigeria-Biafra War’ , Journal of Global South Studies , 36 : 1 , 186 – 209 . O’Sullivan , K. ( 2012 ), Ireland, Africa and the End of Empire: Small State Identity in the Cold War, 1955–75 ( Manchester : Manchester University Press ). O

Journal of Humanitarian Affairs
Small state identity in the Cold War 1955–75

In the twenty years after Ireland joined the UN in 1955, one subject dominated its fortunes: Africa. The first detailed study of Ireland's relationship with that continent, this book documents its special place in Irish history. It describes the missionaries, aid workers, diplomats, peacekeepers, and anti-apartheid protesters at the heart of Irish popular understanding of the developing world. It chronicles Africa's influence on Irish foreign policy, from decolonisation and the end of empire, to apartheid and the rise of foreign aid. Adopting a fresh, and strongly comparative approach, this book shows how small and middling powers like Ireland, Canada, the Netherlands and the Nordic states used Africa to shape their position in the international system, and how their influence waned with the rise of the Afro-Asian bloc. O’Sullivan details the link between African decolonisation and Ireland's self-defined post-colonial identity: at the UN, in the Congo, South Africa, Rhodesia, and Biafra – even in remote mission stations in rural Africa. When growing African radicalism made that role difficult to sustain, this book describes how missionaries, NGOs, and anti-apartheid campaigners helped to re-invent the Irish government's position, to become the ‘moral conscience’ of the EC. Offering a fascinating account of small state diplomacy and identity in a vital period for the Cold War, and a unique perspective on African decolonisation, this book provides essential insight for scholars of Irish history, African history, international relations, and the history of NGOs, as well as anyone interested in why Africa holds such an important place in the Irish public imagination.

Constance Duncombe

Identity is a powerful force in shaping foreign policy. Yet identity is not a rigid category; rather, there are different domestic and international factors that interact and develop a cohesive image of who a state believes itself to be. Regardless of the uniqueness and variation in state identities that exist, there are a core set of ideational structures that help to produce an imagined state Self, which then influences foreign policy. It is important to analyse state identity because projections of identity inform a state's foreign policy

in Representation, recognition and respect in world politics
Abstract only
Representation, recognition and respect in world politics
Constance Duncombe

representations and recognition and how these are informed by feelings of respect or disrespect that instigate the projection or protection of state identity. The key argument of my book is that representations are important because they shape both the identity of a state and how it is recognised by others. Representational schemas are key to producing images of state Self and Other that act to reinforce or reimagine frameworks of national identity. Recognition plays a crucial role in the process because inadequate or failed recognition is tantamount to

in Representation, recognition and respect in world politics
Josefina A. Echavarria

also translated into a crisis for the national population’s identity. Such crises are paramount to understanding abrupt discursive transformations in the political identities of state, nationals and others. Weldes (1999: 57–8) suggests that ‘crises are internal to the functioning of states because they are inextricably intertwined with state identity in two complementary ways: first, state identity

in In/security in Colombia
Democratisation, nationalism and security in former Yugoslavia
Paul Latawski
Martin A. Smith

’s ‘humanitarian intervention’ over Kosovo highlighted the normative tension between the doctrine of non-intervention in sovereign states versus efforts to promote respect for human rights that transcend state boundaries, the subsequent efforts at peace-building have revealed other normative conundrums. For NATO and other international institutions, this has made South East Europe a normative labyrinth where democracy, ‘stateness

in The Kosovo crisis and the evolution of post-Cold War European security
Open Access (free)
Kevin Harrison
Tony Boyd

contemporary Britain as a nation. Perhaps more accurately the United Kingdom should be considered as a ‘state’ made up of several ‘nations’, each of which is discussed in turn. This problem of nation and national identity can be investigated through a study of Northern Ireland, where issues of national and state identity have contributed to the political crisis. POINTS TO CONSIDER

in Understanding political ideas and movements
Open Access (free)
The struggle to shape the Middle East

Saudi Arabia and Iran: The struggle to shape the Middle East provides a detailed exploration of the rivalry between Riyadh and Tehran across the Middle East. As one of the most compelling rivalries in international politics, the Saudi–Iranian competition for regional influence has impacted on a number of different locales. After the onset of the Arab Uprisings and the fragmentation of regime–society relations, communal relations have continued to degenerate, as societal actors retreat into sub-state identities, whilst difference becomes increasingly violent, spilling out beyond state borders. The power of religion – and the trans-state nature of religious linkages – thus provides the means for actors, such as Saudi Arabia and Iran, to exert influence over a number of groups across the region. Given these issues, the contributions to this volume, and the collection as a whole, have two main aims: firstly, to explore the nature of the rivalry between Saudi Arabia and Iran within the contemporary Middle East; and secondly, to consider the impact of this rivalry upon regional and domestic politics across the Middle East. This volume examines how the rivalry is perceived in both Saudi Arabia and Iran, as well as in the contestation over religious legitimacy. It also offers in-depth explorations of the impact of this rivalry upon five regional states: Iraq, Syria, Bahrain, Lebanon and Yemen, all sites of contestation between Riyadh and Tehran, albeit in different guises. In doing so, it highlights how the rivalry is shaped by the contingencies of time and space.

Ireland and the decolonisation of Africa
Kevin O’Sullivan

This chapter outlines the key role played by decolonisation, the ends of empire, and the emergence of independent Africa in shaping Ireland's post-war identity. Missionary links fostered an interest in, and a sense of responsibility towards, Africa, and connected Irish actions with African nationalist aspirations. An official emphasis on the shared legacies of empire created a self-defined post-colonial identity for the state. This chapter links these nation-level currents of debate with an evolving international narrative in which circumstances allowed the ‘fire brigade’ states a disproportionately forward role in international politics. It shows how involvement in debates on African decolonisation at the UN allowed those states to marry national values with the assertion of diplomatic independence. It identifies an important shift between the imperial and post-imperial eras: as Africa's political status changed, the ‘fire brigade’ states adapted accordingly, not least by re-directing their focus to the field of foreign aid. In the midst of those changes this chapter explores a theme that is at the heart of this book: the marriage of idealism, pragmatism, national concerns and international trends that shaped small state identities in the Cold War.

in Ireland, Africa and the end of empire