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Critical reflections on the Celtic Tiger

Sexual images and innuendo have become commonplace in contemporary advertising; they often fail to register in any meaningful way with the audience. This book examines the essentially racist stereotypes through which Irish people have conventionally been regarded have been increasingly challenged and even displaced perhaps by a sequence of rather more complimentary perspectives. The various developments that are signified within the figure of the Celtic Tiger might be considered to have radically altered the field of political possibility in Ireland. The enormous cuts in public expenditure that marked this period are held to have established a desirable, stable macroeconomic environment. The Celtic Tiger shows that one can use the rhetoric about 'social solidarity' while actually implementing policies which increase class polarisation. The book discusses the current hegemonic construction of Ireland as an open, cosmopolitan, multicultural, tourist-friendly society. The two central pieces of legislation which currently shape Irish immigration policy are the 1996 Refugee Act and the Immigration Bill of 1999. The book offers a critical examination of the realities of the Celtic Tiger for Irish women. Processes of nation state formation invariably invoke homogeneous narratives of ethnicity and national identity. To invoke a collective subject of contemporary Ireland rhetorically is to make such a strategic utopian political assumption. For the last few hundred years, the Gaeltacht has exemplified the crisis of Irish modernity. Culture becomes capital, and vice versa, while political action increasingly consists of the struggle to maintain democratic autonomy in the face of global market forces.

Sol Plaatje and W.E.B.Du Bois

necessarily ethnically absolutist and generally socially dangerous, Gilroy presented black Atlanticism as its progressive and emancipatory antinomy. Gilroy’s black Atlantic formulation was also an attempt to transform paradigms for the analysis of modernity. Insisting on the mutual implication of slavery with modernity, Gilroy argued that black Atlanticism had emerged as ‘ a distinctive counterculture of modernity’ (p. 36) and that ‘The distinctive historical experiences of [the African] diaspora’s populations have created a unique body of reflections on modernity and its

in Postcolonial contraventions
Open Access (free)
Paul Gilroy’s The Black Atlantic

of this book, intervening in debates about modernity is another. Gilroy challenges Marxist, economic and philosophical accounts of the development of modernity as a selfcontained European process, based on principles and practices of rationality, economic productivism, Enlightenment egalitarianism and wage labour. Slavery, he argues, was fundamental to modernity; racial terror lies within its heart. Gilroy’s concern with the racial terror of slavery chimes with a burgeoning academic interest in the experience of Jews under Nazism (the emergent ‘Holocaust studies

in Postcolonial contraventions
The tragedy (and comedy) of accelerated modernisation

7 Millenarianism and utopianism in the new Ireland: the tragedy (and comedy) of accelerated modernisation KIERAN KEOHANE and CARMEN KUHLING There is a mode of vital experience – experience of space and time, of the self and others, of life’s possibilities and perils – that is shared by men and women all over the world today. I will call this body of experience ‘modernity’. To be modern is to find ourselves in an environment that promises us adventure, power, joy, growth, transformation of ourselves and the world – and, at the same time, that threatens to

in The end of Irish history?
Open Access (free)
Interrogating civilisational analysis in a global age

Contemporary civilisational analysis has emerged in the post-Cold War period as a forming but already controversial field of scholarship. This book focuses on the scholarship produced in this field since the 1970s. It begins with anthropological axioms posited by Ibn Khaldun, Simon Bolivar and George Pachymeres. Three conceptual images of civilisations are prominent in the field. First, civilisations are conceived as socio-cultural units, entities or blocs in an 'integrationist' image. They emerge out of long-term uneven historical processes. Finally, in a 'relational' image civilisations are believed to gain definition and institute developmental patterns through inter-societal and inter-cultural encounters. The book traces the history of semantic developments of the notions of 'civilisation' and 'civilisations' coextensive with the expansion of Europe's empires and consubstantial with colonialism. Early modernities are more important in the long formation of capitalism. Outlining the conceptual framework of inter-civilisational engagement, the book analytically plots the ties instituted by human imaginaries across four dimensions of inter-civilisational engagement. It also interrogates the relationship between oceans, seas and civilisations. Oceanian civilisation exhibits patterns of deep engagement and connection. Though damaged, Pacific cultures have invoked their own counter-imaginary in closer proximity to past islander experiences. Collective memory provides resources for coping with critical issues. The book also explores Latin American and Japanese experiences that shed light on the engagement of civilisations, applying the model of inter-civilisational engagement to modern perspectives in culture and the arts, politics, theology and political economy.

theory developed a typology of modernity and tradition. Though it dichotomised many diverse societies, the typology also presupposed developmental potential for all societies whereby they would 27 Currents and perspectives 27 emulate a single model of modernity. The rapid shift from a world of empires to an international arena of nation-​states put questions of convergence, reform and development on the agenda. Meanwhile it forced the Western social sciences to empirically confront the fullness of collective experiences previously subsumed by colonialism. Under

in Debating civilisations

takes aim at the reproduction of essentialism that post-​colonial sociologists perceive in comparative studies of civilisations. Furthermore, post-​ colonial sociologists are explicitly critical of the comparative sociology of multiple modernities on the grounds that it fails to meets its own stated objective of going beyond Eurocentrism. Their critiques home in on how comparative sociologists have retained an unreconstructed notion of modernity incapable of reflecting the breadth of historical experiences of colonialism. Between the two fields there are significant

in Debating civilisations
Open Access (free)

defines civilisations? What creates them? Is it their materiality, their art or their religious ethics? Are they old and evolutionary, or constituted anew in modernity? How have moderns judged them, or rather discursively cast them? What ideological uses are made of the idea of civilisation and how should they be disentangled from archaeological, anthropological, sociological and historical investigation and methodology? Each question is a debating point. Images of the character of civilisation and civilisations underpin the diversity of explanations. Are they entities

in Debating civilisations

, Arnason perceives greater space for interpretation, reconstruction and reinterpretation of civilisational dynamics in the centres of power. Strategic orientations have a more decisive part and thus Arnason attributes more historical specificity to processes of change, including in modernity. Arnason’s rendition of the Japanese trajectory asserts more latitude for transformative processes to be analysed. Furthermore, there is greater room for the ramifications of transformation for the overall pattern of duality to be taken into account. Like Eisenstadt, Bellah conceives

in Debating civilisations
An introduction to the book

rather more universal. In particular, the readings of southern Irish society that are encoded within the conceit of the Celtic Tiger clearly draw from specific understandings of ‘the modern’ that have enjoyed a renaissance over the last dozen years or so. It is to these distinctive constructions of modernity that we turn our attention next. The new world order of things The decades that immediately followed the Second World War offered witness to a fierce and prolonged ideological contest as to which path of development humanity should follow. During the Cold War, the

in The end of Irish history?