Dialectics of Conquest: background and context in the emergence of conflict in Northern Ireland

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Dialectics of Conquest: background and context in the emergence of conflict in Northern Ireland

  1. 1. Dialectics of Conquest: background and context in the emergence of conflict in N. Ireland Dr Alan Bruce Universal Learning Systems Belfast: 9 September 2010
  2. 2. Why this sudden bewilderment, this confusion?… Why are the streets and squares emptying so rapidly, Everyone else going home in thought? Because the night has fallen and the barbarians haven’t come. And some of our men who have just returned from the border say There are no barbarians any longer. Now what’s going to happen to us without barbarians? Those people were a kind of solution. Waiting for the Barbarians Constantine Cavafy
  3. 3. Aim and overview <ul><li>Origins and causes of unrest </li></ul><ul><li>Contexts </li></ul><ul><li>Legacies of colonialism </li></ul><ul><li>Imperialism and the State </li></ul><ul><li>International contexts </li></ul><ul><li>Power, control and transformation </li></ul><ul><li>Back to the future: rights </li></ul>
  4. 4. Where do we start? <ul><li>The Northern Ireland paradise </li></ul><ul><li>The occupied and oppressed nation </li></ul><ul><li>The troublesome isle </li></ul><ul><li>Shared invisibilities </li></ul>
  5. 5. Contours of a history <ul><li>Celtic dreamscapes </li></ul><ul><li>Christian fusion and innovation </li></ul><ul><li>Invasion, absorption and diversity </li></ul><ul><li>Land and dispossession </li></ul><ul><li>The laboratory of colonialism </li></ul><ul><li>Fear and self-loathing </li></ul>
  6. 6. Memories, memories… <ul><li>The only memory is the memory of wound Czeslow Milosz </li></ul><ul><li>Victims or perpetrators </li></ul><ul><li>Disputed pasts </li></ul><ul><li>What do we know? </li></ul><ul><li>Who are we? </li></ul><ul><li>Who can we trust? </li></ul>
  7. 7. Contemporary Contexts <ul><li>Globalization: dynamic and process </li></ul><ul><li>Urbanized planet </li></ul><ul><li>Instant, multimodal, pervasive communications </li></ul><ul><li>Violence and de-humanization </li></ul><ul><li>Increased inequality and restricted resource access </li></ul><ul><li>Post-industrialization </li></ul>
  8. 8. The peace to end all peace <ul><li>Embedded conflict - the era of permanent war </li></ul><ul><li>Embedded inequity </li></ul><ul><li>Hopelessness and exclusion </li></ul><ul><li>Re-birth of extremism </li></ul><ul><li>Socio-economic transformation </li></ul><ul><li>Potential in the margins: the Sartrean soup </li></ul>
  9. 9. The colonial imperative <ul><li>Contact </li></ul><ul><li>Penetration </li></ul><ul><li>Fragmentation </li></ul><ul><li>Domination </li></ul><ul><li>Johan Galtung </li></ul>
  10. 10. Contact <ul><li>Celts and Africans </li></ul><ul><li>Christianization </li></ul><ul><li>Vikings </li></ul><ul><li>Normans </li></ul><ul><li>Tudor re-structuring - integration into the European game plan </li></ul>
  11. 11. Penetration <ul><li>Ideologies of conformity </li></ul><ul><li>Surrender and re-grant </li></ul><ul><li>Language </li></ul><ul><li>Norms and values </li></ul><ul><li>Learned inferiority </li></ul>
  12. 12. Fragmentation <ul><li>Destruction of Gaelic aristocracy </li></ul><ul><li>The century of wars </li></ul><ul><li>Expropriation and expulsion </li></ul><ul><li>Plantation </li></ul><ul><li>Famine and loss </li></ul><ul><li>The emigrant trail </li></ul>
  13. 13. Domination <ul><li>Integration into Empire </li></ul><ul><li>Divide and rule </li></ul><ul><li>Exclusion </li></ul><ul><li>Religion’s realm </li></ul><ul><li>Sectarianism and bigotry </li></ul><ul><li>The loss of history </li></ul>
  14. 14. The Twentieth Century dawns <ul><li>Assimilation </li></ul><ul><li>Resistance </li></ul><ul><li>Fostered divisions </li></ul><ul><li>Equity and recognition </li></ul><ul><li>Nation or province </li></ul><ul><li>The elixir of nationalism </li></ul>
  15. 15. The colonial process <ul><li>Instrument of policy </li></ul><ul><li>Conscious European process </li></ul><ul><li>From discovery to destruction </li></ul><ul><li>The bottom line: wealth and slavery </li></ul><ul><li>Phases of conquest: from trade to settlement </li></ul><ul><li>What about the natives? </li></ul><ul><li>What about the settlers? </li></ul>
  16. 16. Theorists of colonialism <ul><li>Bartolomé de las Casas (1484 - 1566) </li></ul><ul><li>Thomas Paine (1737 - 1809) </li></ul><ul><li>Aimé Cesaire (1913 - 2008) </li></ul><ul><li>Frantz Fanon (1925 -1961) </li></ul><ul><li>Albert Memmi (1920 - ) </li></ul>
  17. 17. Impact on Ireland <ul><li>The oldest colony </li></ul><ul><li>Laboratory of experiment </li></ul><ul><li>Unequal treatment </li></ul><ul><li>Discrimination and difference </li></ul><ul><li>Contested governance </li></ul>
  18. 18. The Irish Question <ul><li>Defining Irishness </li></ul><ul><li>Forms of nationalism </li></ul><ul><li>Religious overtones </li></ul><ul><li>Forms of state </li></ul><ul><li>Independence, home rule, union </li></ul><ul><li>Partition and unrest </li></ul>
  19. 19. The British Question <ul><li>Acts of Union </li></ul><ul><li>Forging identity - the rush to empire </li></ul><ul><li>Class divisions - the birth of industry </li></ul><ul><li>Bastion of reaction </li></ul><ul><li>The myth of four nations </li></ul><ul><li>Decline and decay - Tom Nairn </li></ul>
  20. 20. State policy - UK <ul><li>An ambiguous union </li></ul><ul><li>The Orange State </li></ul><ul><li>Neglect and indifference </li></ul><ul><li>Subsidy and support </li></ul><ul><li>Rights and discrimination </li></ul><ul><li>Responding to challenge </li></ul>
  21. 21. State policy - Republic of Ireland <ul><li>Rhetoric and myth </li></ul><ul><li>The rush to modernize </li></ul><ul><li>Clerical mindsets: abandoning social policy </li></ul><ul><li>Neglect and denial </li></ul><ul><li>State or nation? </li></ul><ul><li>Staring at the chasm </li></ul>
  22. 22. The implosion of 1969 <ul><li>Exposing the cracks: the civil rights agenda </li></ul><ul><li>Economic decline </li></ul><ul><li>The dynamic of demographics </li></ul><ul><li>Uncontained expectations: education and freedom </li></ul><ul><li>The heritage of sectarian division </li></ul><ul><li>The absence of politics </li></ul><ul><li>Oppression and inequality </li></ul>
  23. 23. Collapse of the Northern State <ul><li>Inability to address equality </li></ul><ul><li>Inability to respond to demands for civil rights </li></ul><ul><li>Stability alone not sufficient </li></ul><ul><li>From Caledon to Burntollet </li></ul><ul><li>Reform of State made impossible by: </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Maintenance of Protestant hegemony </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Need to respond to grievances </li></ul></ul>
  24. 24. Crisis in context <ul><li>Post-war settlement: end or beginning </li></ul><ul><li>The bi-polar world </li></ul><ul><li>American Empire: US global reach </li></ul><ul><li>Resistance and liberation </li></ul><ul><li>The possibilities of plenty: redistributive alternatives </li></ul><ul><li>A dazzling capitalism? </li></ul>
  25. 25. Lessons of resistance <ul><li>US Civil Rights movement </li></ul><ul><li>Vietnam </li></ul><ul><li>Algeria </li></ul><ul><li>Cuba </li></ul><ul><li>Czechoslovakia </li></ul><ul><li>Chile </li></ul>
  26. 26. Legacies of division <ul><li>India/Pakistan </li></ul><ul><li>Sri Lanka </li></ul><ul><li>Cyprus </li></ul><ul><li>Southern Africa </li></ul>
  27. 27. Dimensions of the crisis <ul><li>Embedded inequality </li></ul><ul><li>Denial of recognition </li></ul><ul><li>Facilitated sectarianism </li></ul><ul><li>Divided people </li></ul><ul><li>External domination </li></ul><ul><li>The impossible contradiction </li></ul><ul><li>Legacy of partition </li></ul>
  28. 28. Conclusions <ul><li>Not only example: but unique aspects </li></ul><ul><li>The hidden issues: economics and class </li></ul><ul><li>Social emancipation and the response of the State </li></ul><ul><li>Pluralist governance in a divided society </li></ul><ul><li>Internalized impact of external domination </li></ul><ul><li>Stripping away illusions: power and control </li></ul><ul><li>Rights and recognition </li></ul><ul><li>European frameworks </li></ul>
  29. 29. Thank you <ul><li>Dr Alan Bruce </li></ul><ul><li>ULS </li></ul><ul><li>[email_address] </li></ul>

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