By Jeffrey Prager
Many of the autonomous international locations of the 20th century were racked through political illness and social instability. eire is likely one of the few to have effectively demonstrated a sturdy democratic order. during this e-book, Jeffrey Prager examines the 1st decade of Irish independence with a purpose to clarify how the Republic of eire accomplished democracy. In so doing, he presents a deeper realizing of the Irish case whereas laying off gentle at the technique of democratic consolidation in sleek state-building. His mixture of political and cultural methods additionally contributes to the advance of a political sociology that encompasses the matter of cultural that means as a vital area of research. through exploring the interconnections among political constructions, social actions, and cultural legacies, he promotes an understanding of the important dimensions of political lifestyles and associations.
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Extra resources for Building Democracy in Ireland: Political Order and Cultural Integration in a Newly Independent Nation
6 These traditions long antedated the Civil War; in fact, their roots can be traced back at least to the eighteenth century. As Tom Garvin has persuasively argued, these traditions had long been expressed as tensions within the various political movements of the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries, producing a long-standing history of fractious debate and political di vision. 7 But it was in the nineteenth century, especially in the postfamine period, that these contending world views emerged on a national level and actively vied with each other for the hearts and minds of the Irish people.
49 Although political elites are actively engaged in seeking to transform the public - to ensure that basic patterns of civility prevail and thereby enable the institutions to function - it is also true that, within these parameters of a civic culture, the state must adopt forms and processes that are culturally meaningful. The challenge is as Geertz describes it, partly ideological, but it is more than that. Cultural meaningfulness is more than a cognitive problem: Support and identity for new political structures also require that the structures, organizations, and political processes, that is, the institutional forms, conform to the deeply felt, more unconscious conceptions of legitimacy.
Irish-Enlightenment norms, in this elaborated understanding of the parliamentary tradition, constituted a firm commitment to democratic individualism. First, it was an understanding of the Irish national com munity as nonsectarian, composed of both Protestants and Catholics. Ireland was viewed as a moral community in which all men and women, as members, possessed inalienable rights but also responsibilities to other members, irrespective of status.