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Power, resistance and identity in twenty-first-century Ireland
Series: Irish Society
Editors: Rosie Meade and Fiona Dukelow

This book analyses and critiques Irish society in the early twenty-first century, but seeks to do so by consciously avoiding myth-making and generalisation. It invites readers to revisit and rethink twelve events that span the years 2001-2009. It shows that all of these events reveal crucial intersections of structural power and resistance in contemporary Ireland. The book shows how the events carry traces of both social structure and human agency. They were shaped by overarching political, economic, social and cultural currents; but they were also responses to proposals, protests, advocacy and demands that have been articulated by a broad spectrum of social actors. The book also explores how power works ideologically and through policy instruments to support dominant models of capital accumulation. Identities are constructed at the interface between public policy, collective commitments and individual biographies. They mobilise both power and resistance, as they move beyond the realm of the personal and become focal points for debates about rights, responsibilities, resources and even the borders of the nation itself. The book suggests that conceptions of Irish identity and citizenship are being redrawn in more positive ways. Family is the cornerstone, the natural, primary and fundamental unit group of society. Marriage is the religious, cultural, commercial, and political institution that defines and embeds its values. The book presents a 2004 High Court case taken by Katherine Zappone and Ann Louise Gilligan for legal recognition of their marriage as a same-sex couple, which had taken place a year previously in Canada.

Sean W. Burges

The argument made in this book is relatively simple in nature, but one that is counter-intuitive to first inclinations when analysing a country’s foreign policy. Simply put, the point I have sought to make is that Brazilian foreign policy is primarily concerned with questions of structural power, not relative power. Brazil is not seeking power over other states or regional dominance simply to enforce its own will. Instead, the focus is on influencing a deeper and more profound type of power, an effort which seeks to embed Brazilian interests in the very fabric

in Brazil in the world
Sean W. Burges

Latin America more broadly and South America specifically provide the platform on which Brazilian foreign policy architects positioned their main lever for attempting to shift structural power frameworks and the pursuit of their country’s particular brand of international insertion. Central to this has been a continental strategic reality particularly propitious for the consensual hegemonic style of leadership sought by Brazil over the last quarter century. While there have been occasional armed contretemps between South American states, the most serious

in Brazil in the world
Sean W. Burges

recently seen its most visible expression in the Lula era’s renewed push for an expanded UN Security Council to give Brazil permanent membership in the political realm and very active engagement with the WTO Doha round in the economic sphere. In short, multilateral groupings, whether they be on a regional or global level, have long been an important strut of Brazilian foreign policy, crucial to efforts to protect national autonomy and, more latterly, work to reshape the realities of structural power in the contemporary global system. Active participation in multilateral

in Brazil in the world
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Sean W. Burges

for pursuing national development as well as the regional and South–South leadership central to the larger foreign policy priority of reframing the nature and application of structural power. Discussion of security relations with South America, Africa and the US will highlight the persistence of a geopolitical approach to strategic thinking concentrated on maximizing national autonomy and excluding foreign powers from as wide a space as possible around Brazil. One aspect yet to be thoroughly investigated by scholars is the importance of civilian control of the

in Brazil in the world
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Revisioning the borders of community

Art and migration: revisioning the borders of community is a collective response to current and historic constructs of migration as disruptive of national heritage. This interplay of academic essays and art professionals’ interviews investigates how the visual arts – especially by or about migrants – create points of encounter between individuals, places, and objects. Migration has increasingly taken centre stage in contemporary art, as artists claim migration as a paradigm of artistic creation. The myriad trajectories of transnational artworks and artists’ careers outlined in the volume are reflected in the density and dynamism of fairs and biennales, itinerant museum exhibitions and shifting art centres. It analyses the vested political interests of migration terminology such as the synonymous use of ‘refugees’ and ‘asylum seekers’ or the politically constructed use of ‘diaspora’. Political and cultural narratives frame globalisation as a recent shift that reverses centuries of cultural homogeneity. Art historians and migration scholars are engaged in revisioning these narratives, with terms and methodologies shared by both fields. Both disciplines are elaborating an histoire croisée of the circulation of art that denounces the structural power of constructed borders and cultural gatekeeping, and this volume reappraises the historic formation of national identities and aesthetics heritage as constructed under transnational visual influences. This resonates with migrant artists’ own demands for self-determination in a display space that too often favours canonicity over hybridity. Centring migration – often silenced by normative archives or by nationalist attribution practices – is part of the workload of revisioning art history and decolonising museums.

Alison Phipps

This chapter explores the feminist movement’s ‘will to power’ in more depth. It focuses on the anger expressed in campaigns such as #MeToo and interventions such as the Women’s March, heightened in an ‘age of anger’ produced by economic uncertainties and political shifts. This chapter asks what happens when feminist anger is channelled through whiteness, which is a position of structural power. It argues that although women’s anger is powerful, when channelled through whiteness it can also be damaging, especially in a context in which white people ‘taking back control’ has come to the fore. It produces a focus on retribution and punishment that legitimates oppressive state systems. Furthermore, this white feminist ‘war machine’ treats more marginalised people as collateral, especially people of colour.

in Me, not you
Sean W. Burges

assistance over an extended period of time requiring a level of empathy with others, and an understanding of their position and priorities. It can also lead to the rise of parallel informal institutions and practices, which quietly step around obstacles with the slick dexterity of a striker streaking towards goal on the soccer pitch (Matta, 1984 ). A basic understanding of the jeitinho is an important building block for grappling with the practical realities of Brazilian diplomacy and foreign policy as it engages in its agenda of challenging structural power realities

in Brazil in the world
Sean W. Burges

of structural power. The two other major book-length works on Brazilian foreign policy pre-date the inauguration of the Dilma presidency in 2011, but remain highly instructive as explanatory tools for those seeking to understand Brazil in the world. Tullo Vigevani’s and Gabriel Cepaluni’s important 2009 book argues Brazilian foreign policy is, above all, dominated by a quest to maintain domestic policy autonomy. While this has taken various forms since the 1985 transition to democracy and is applied with different strategic imperatives and styles in mind, the

in Brazil in the world
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My own journey
Pat O’Connor

‘feminine’ area, namely married women’s close relationships with friends and kin. It was not until the 1990s that responsibility for a women’s studies programme, and research on the position of women in two semi-­state bureaucracies, raised my conscious awareness of gendered structural power. These led to a number of publications exploring the general position of women in Irish society, and specifically in semi-­state structures (O’Connor, 1995a, 1996, 1998, 2000a). This marked the beginning of my positioning as a ‘tempered radical’ (Meyerson and Scully, 2011) committed

in Management and gender in higher education