The Darker Side of Higher Education: Irish peripherality, the Atlantic Economy and Epistemic Imperialism

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This paper focuses on Ireland as an exemplary case of peripherality in a globalised system of higher education. An examination of peripherality is necessary to understand the structure of global higher education and how these structures emerge from long historical processes of empire and national-building, of European and North Atlantic epistemic dominance. Specifically, the paper argues that the emergence of Irish higher education rests upon a long history of Ireland’s incorporation, firstly, in Britain’s Atlantic economy and its westward colonial expansion; secondly, in Britain’s second empire in the East, and specifically the role of Irish universities in contributing to and being agents of imperial epistemologies; and thirdly, its incorporation in a US dominated Atlantic economy from the twentieth century onwards. To understand Irish higher education’s location within global higher education, requires a transnational historical sociology of the emergence of peripherality, a sociology that understands the emergence of Irish higher education as conditioned by empire, colonialism, and violence. This is necessary if we are to imagine different futures for higher education generally and Irish higher education specifically.
TidsskriftIrish Journal of Sociology
StatusAfsendt - 30 apr. 2020

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