The instrumentalisation of Irish education: or, as God moves out, Mammon moves in

With the gap between church and state in Ireland finally beginning to widen, the Catholic Church's control over education will only weaken as time goes by. But, as Mark Cullinane argues, rather than grasp the opportunity to institute something resembling a liberal education, we have chosen merely to swap one dogma for another - the worship of Capital.

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Capitalist rioters don't wear hoodies

The global media has been nervously covering two simultaneous forms of destruction: the obliteration of wealth in the financial markets and the destruction of property in the United Kingdom. This destruction involves different actors, objects, temporalities, and spatial scales. The looting by youths in the UK had a short-term temporality and has been territorially contained to one nation.

Violence at the edge: Tottenham, Athens, Paris

The experience of police harrassment and violence is an everyday one for many people in many communities, and we need to interrogate the idea that such aggression is automatically legitimate. By Illan Rua Wall

The reactionary imagination

In his classic text The Sociological Imagination, C Wright Mills observed that ‘men do not usually define the troubles they endure in terms of historical change and institutional contradiction… the big ups and downs of the societies in which they live.’ [1] He argued that the job of sociologists therefore was to relate personal troubles ‘within the character of the individual and within the range of his immediate relations with others’ to ‘matters that transcend these local environments’. [2] In other words for Mills, sociologists and other public intellectuals should help people t

Has loyalism moved beyond itself?

There are general and easy readings of Ulster loyalism for which many method actors, as if casting for The Sopranos, write the script that tabloid journalism adores. The appearance of the tattooed sectarian – or, as Fintan O’Toole would have it, ‘an idiocy that comes with a fragmented culture’ - is as obvious as Ireland’s financial plight – although the latter was due to another form of thuggery that employed greater charm.

Equality of misery? Poverty and political violence in Northern Ireland

When the East Belfast riots erupted in late June, few who work in and with working class communities were surprised. We had known for some time that the UVF was recruiting young people and threatening to organise mass riots if its command structures – sorry, that should of course read ‘community workers’ – weren’t guaranteed ongoing funding after EU Peace money runs out in 2012.

Sectarianism and the search for political progress in Northern Ireland

The challenge that faces political actors in Northern Ireland is to offer real choices to ordinary people and to provide the leadership and encouragement that will enable these choices to be realised. The priority, in other words, has to be building a shared future based on tolerance and mutual respect instead of propagating division and segregation.