The book explores the processes of continuity and change that have forged the nature of the state in Ireland. In doing so, it offers a fresh and provocative analysis of modern Ireland presented by a new generation of scholars. The book’s unique contribution to analysis of contemporary Irish politics is enhanced by its interdisciplinary nature, as the authors traverse the boundaries between different schools of thought in order to present a constructive text to a wide readership. The main theme is that recent change in the Irish state is best understood as part of a continual process of adaptation or ‘recycling’. This process involves cognisance not only of the legacy of past outlooks but also visions of the future, as well as the immediate interests of the political elite. There are three key dimensions to this ‘recycling’: definition of the state, representation by the state and participation in the state. The authors explore these dimensions in relation to selected critical issues in contemporary Ireland including minority rights, voter apathy, the Irish diaspora, cross-border relations, and democratic accountability. Together, their analysis of detailed and original empirical evidence illustrates that, contrary to conventional wisdom, the Irish state of the twenty-first century embodies remarkable continuity in a context of profound and unprecedented change.
Table of Contents
Foreword ~ Tom Garvin
Preface ~ Katy Hayward and Muiris MacCathaigh
- Introduction: The politics of adaption in Ireland ~ Katy Hayward
- Mise Éire: Recycling nationalist mythologies ~ Aoileann Ní Éigeartaigh
- Reconfiguring the border ~ Cathal McCall
- Recycled connections: The Irish state and its diaspora ~ Kevin Howard
- Boundaries of citizenship: The continued exclusion of Travellers ~ Una Crowley
- Developmental welfare once again: Growth and human capital ~ Bryan Fanning and Tina MacVeigh
- Continuity and adaption in local government ~ Mark Callanan
- Turnout, political support and representations in Ireland ~ Adrian P. Kavanagh
- Irish voting patterns: Dealignment or realignment? ~ Ken McKenzie
- The recycling of political accountability ~ Muiris MacCarthaigh
- Conclusions: The recycled state ~ Muiris MacCarthaigh and Katy Hayward
About the Editors
Dr Katy Hayward is an IRCHSS Government of Ireland post-doctoral research fellow at the Institute for British-Irish Studies, University College Dublin.
Dr Muiris MacCarthaigh is a Research Officer at the Institute of Public Administration.