Irish adventures in nation-building

Author: Bryan Fanning

This book examines the debates and processes that have shaped the modernisation of Ireland since the beginning of the twentieth century. There are compelling justifications for methodological nationalism using research and analysis focused on the jurisdiction of a nation-state. The nation-state remains a necessary unit of analysis not least because it is a unit of taxation and representation, a legal and political jurisdiction, a site of bounded loyalties and of identity politics. The book argues that nationalism in twenty-first-century Ireland is even more powerful and socially embedded than it was in de Valera's Ireland. It considers what kind of Ireland Pearse wanted to bring about. Pearse proposed a model that was very different from the already dominant Catholic model that did much to incubate modern Ireland. Beyond this, Catholicism offered a distinct response to modernity aimed at competing with the two main secular ideologies: liberalism and socialism. Women have been marginalised in most of the debates that shaped Ireland even where they were directly affected by them. One of the most picked-over episodes in twentieth-century Irish history has been the conflict surrounding the Mother and Child Scheme. The book examines this conflict as a starting point of an analysis of the place of women in post-independence Ireland. It further addresses the rise and fall of the Celtic Tiger, the name given to a period of rapid economic growth that was likened to the performance of East Asian 'tiger' economies.

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