The Moral Boundaries of the Nation: The Constitution of National Identity in the South Eastern Border Counties of Ireland
Ethnopolitics, Vol. 5, No. 4, pp. 365-382, 2006
39 Pages Posted: 24 Jul 2012
Date Written: February 24, 2006
This article argues that nationalism is more varied in the way that it constructs its boundaries than contemporary scholarship suggests. In an interdisciplinary, multi-stranded qualitative study of ethno-national identity on the Southern side of the Irish border, it shows the moral repertoires that qualify, conflict with, and on occasion replace, territorial-ethnic and state-centred aspects of national identity. It refocuses attention on the cultural and normative content of imagined national communities, and the different ways in which general norms function in particular communal contexts. It casts a new light on Southern attitudes to Irish unity. More generally, it suggests that a form of moral nationalism is possible, distinct from the forms more typically discussed in the literature: ethnic, civic, trans nationalism or even banal nationalism.
Keywords: nation, state, border, Ireland, Europe, moral repertoires, national identity
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