Governance, state and polity

Katy Hayward

in Irish Nationalism and European Integration

Published by Manchester University Press

Published in print March 2009 | ISBN: 9780719072789
Published online July 2012 | e-ISBN: 9781781702369 | DOI:
Governance, state and polity

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This chapter explores the conceptualisation of ‘governance’ in Irish official discourse in relation to both the Irish ‘state’ and the European ‘polity’. ‘State’ and ‘polity’ constitute the broad conceptual and institutional supporting frameworks for the meaning and significance of governance in nation-statehood and European Union (EU), respectively. The traditional narrative of the state is national self-determination. The traditional model of the state is sovereignty. One aspect of the new model of the European polity is the conception of multilevel citizenship, with the coexistence of national and European citizenship. This chapter explores how the traditional and new frameworks, narratives, and models of the state and the European polity have been brought together in Irish official discourse since the 1970s. After a summary of the traditional conception of the Irish state, it discusses the way in which this conception has been upheld in Ireland's approach to the EU. This then leads into an analysis of how the conception of the Irish state has been influenced by the EU-inspired conception of polity in Irish official discourse on Northern Ireland.

Keywords: governance; state; polity; European Union; Ireland; Irish state; Northern Ireland; multilevel citizenship; nation-statehood; sovereignty

Chapter.  15467 words. 

Subjects: European Union

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