A responsibility to dream

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle (journal)peer-review

5 Citations (Scopus)


In actually existing Ireland, nearly 80 years after independence, ‘deeper challenges [than self‐government and wealth creation] remain’. Cultural policy is a reliable indicator of actual state priorities, and cultural criticism involves an obligation to analyse the state itself. My analysis is a postcolonial one, where ‘post’ indicates a critical relationship to practices of domination, rather than a historical moment after domination, as in common usage. I read postcoloniality as a state of critical desiring, a form of consciousness that first emerges when colonialism is challenged by anti‐colonial movements. My use of the term ‘Independent Ireland’ is a strategic choice that acknowledges a lack of fit between the EU member‐state and the nation unfulfilled. Conceptually, Independent Ireland brackets off the Republic of Ireland from itself, and acknowledges the state’s organising contradiction: structural continuities with the colonial province, in tension with frustrated aspirations to an autonomous, albeit partially achieved republic.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)487-497
Number of pages11
JournalThird Text
Issue number5
Publication statusPublished - 2005


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