By Jeffrey Prager

Lots of the self sustaining international locations of the 20 th century were racked by means of political ailment and social instability. eire is without doubt one of the few to have effectively demonstrated a good democratic order. during this e-book, Jeffrey Prager examines the 1st decade of Irish independence so as to clarify how the Republic of eire accomplished democracy. In so doing, he offers a deeper knowing of the Irish case whereas laying off gentle at the means of democratic consolidation in sleek state-building. His mixture of political and cultural techniques additionally contributes to the advance of a political sociology that encompasses the matter of cultural that means as an important area of research. through exploring the interconnections among political constructions, social actions, and cultural legacies, he promotes an knowledge of the very important dimensions of political lifestyles and associations.

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Additional resources for Building Democracy in Ireland: Political Order and Cultural Integration in a Newly Independent Nation

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Through this meaning-making process, whereby individuals make sense of the world in which they live, the systems of legitimate order are created. The particular understandings and orientations that emerge determine the extent to which various institutions, like the po­ litical one, benefit from popular legitimacy and help determine whether given institutions will survive or be reconstituted in different forms. The public, as the arena where meaning is forged, stands above the individual and determines his or her relation to society in terms of this emergent, transcendent order of meanings.

The small farmers of the West," Rumpf and Hepburn write, "with their more primitive subsistence econ­ omy and traditional Irish culture, were less open to practical economic considerations, and adhered rigidly to the ideal of a republic. "22 It is clear that, even in Rumpf and Hepburn's analysis concerned principally with the relationship of geography and social structure to political action, the "interpretive" process, that is, the mechanisms by which the Irish made sense of the political situation, played an important role.

In Ireland, parliamentary representatives swore faith and allegiance to the Constitution while only pledging "faithfulness" to the king. "Paradoxical as it might seem," Leo Kohn has written, "it was the expression of the Free State's adherence to the British Commonwealth in the feudal rite of an oath of fidelity to a sovereign leige which sym­ bolized the full measure of its freedom in the new bond of association. "2 In addition, the Treaty was one between "Great Britain and Ireland," implicitly recognizing a sovereign Ireland independent of Britain - a treaty between two nations - and also acknowledging the right of the Irish Parliament (Dail E ireann) to speak for a united Ireland.

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