Fanning, Bryan (2009) New Guests of the Irish Nation.
Translocations: The Irish Migration, Race and Social Transformation Review, 5 (1).
Bryan Fanning’s new book is a book in search of an argument, in three productive senses.
A collection of essays written between 2001 and 2008, it presents the gradual accretion of
conceptual possibilities adequate to the consequences of rapid transformative migration
in the Republic of Ireland. As these conceptual resources develop over time, a more
fundamental search emerges from their contours; for a situated normative project of what
comes to be called ‘adaptive nation-building’, capable of promoting cultural recognition,
future social cohesion and a political reckoning with the structural discrimination and
ethnocentricism which renders non-citizens as ‘guests of the nation’. Of course, you can’t
adapt a nation without stoking some rows, and Fanning’s book is eager to call out what
he sees as inadequate trajectories of critical thought and political re-imagining; the
‘blithe’ and mechanistic transpositions of ‘racial state’ theory, the lingering hubris of
modernisation, the expansive insularity of Irish Studies. There is much to admire in his
field of engagement, and much to disagree with in the engagements themselves.
||Structural discrimination; ethnocentricism; 'racial state'; 'guests of the nation'; asylum-seekers; 'participatory belonging';
||Faculty of Arts,Celtic Studies and Philosophy > School of English, Media & Theatre Studies
||18 Jan 2011 11:50
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||Translocations: The Irish Migration, Race and Social Transformation Review
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