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Irish Nationalism and European IntegrationThe Official Redefinition of the Island of Ireland$
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Katy Hayward

Print publication date: 2009

Print ISBN-13: 9780719072789

Published to Manchester Scholarship Online: July 2012

DOI: 10.7228/manchester/9780719072789.001.0001

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(p.226) 9 Conclusion
Irish Nationalism and European Integration

Katy Hayward

Manchester University Press

The case of Ireland epitomises the enduring power and potential of official nationalism even in a context of immense upheaval. The contradictory nature of nationalism is made manifest in the complexity of official discourse. Politicians' redefinition of key words, their elaboration of the same myths in different contexts, and their changing of core principles on the pretext of bringing goals closer enable the ‘nation-state’ to remain the critical constant in a changing global environment. Through examination of official discourse, this book has shown the ‘productive paradoxes’ within Irish nationalism which have enabled significant adjustments to be made in touchstone areas of state sovereignty, — that is, Northern Ireland and European integration. These changes have been made in and around the three ideological pillars of identity, borders, and governance. Some traditional conceptions of nation, territory, and state have been reinforced in official discourse on the European Union (EU), whilst some new ‘EU-inspired’ conceptions of community, space, and polity have been utilised in justifying the concessions necessary for political agreement on the island of Ireland.

Keywords:   Ireland, nationalism, nation-state, European integration, European Union, Northern Ireland, territory, identity, borders, governance

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