This paper examines how anxieties about ethnic identity proliferate as state borders begin to shift and open in response to accelerating possibilities of cross‐border cooperation. As the border becomes more porous, social and cultural boundaries become marked in other ways, spatially re‐scaled to reflect new uncertainties consequent upon border change. Using an example from the Irish land border, the paper traces how national space is re‐imagined and re‐placed in the everyday practices of residents in a violent border zone from which the state is ostensibly retreating. It shows that communal division is as sharply drawn as ever at a time when the ‘visibility’ of the state border itself is beginning to diminish.
Cold War along the Emerald Curtain
Rural boundaries in a contested border zone
Changing Relationships in the Irish Borderlands
Kirk Simpson and Hastings Donnan
In this article we focus on Protestant and Catholic relationships in the borderlands of south Armagh in Northern Ireland and north Monaghan in the Irish Republic. Studies that emphasise Protestant and Catholic relationships at the urban or macro level have done little to unravel the complex processes of relationship-building that operate along the border, where Catholic and Protestant not only live in close proximity to one another and cooperate in a range of everyday activities, but where in the recent past each 'side' has used ethnic identity to select targets for assassination. The complexities of intercommunal dynamics in rural border areas and the ways in which they impact upon relationships between border Protestants and Catholics are discussed, with particular reference to moments that have significantly shaped their political subjectivity, most notably the sectarian violence that erupted in 1969 and which was formally brought to a close by the Good Friday Agreement of 1998. Such complexities, we suggest, muddy the over-dichotomised view of the Irish borderlands that often informs public policy making.
Timo Kallinen, Michael D. Jackson, Gisela Welz, Hastings Donnan, Jeevan Raj Sharma, and Ronald S. Stade
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