How has it been possible for Irish political leaders to not just accept, but actively promote, two of the largest challenges to Irish nation-statehood: the concession of sovereignty to the European Union and the retraction of the constitutional claim over Northern Ireland? This book argues that, rather than indicating a pragmatic retreat, such decisions (and their justification on the public stage) reveal the unique power and enduring relevance of nationalism to Irish and European politics today.
This book traces the ways in which nationalism can be simultaneously redefined and revitalized through European integration. The text moves from an overview of the origins and development of Irish official nationalism to an analysis of the connections between its response to profound internal and external challenges to Irish nation-statehood. It then concludes with an assessment of likely changes in this symbiotic relationship in the post-EU enlargement, post-Celtic Tiger era.
The book will appeal to anyone with an interest in twentieth-century history, modern nationalism, and contemporary political dynamics in Ireland and the European Union.