1st Edition

The Politics and Polemics of Culture in Ireland, 1800–2010

By Pat Cooke Copyright 2022
    474 Pages
    by Routledge

    474 Pages
    by Routledge

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    As a contribution to cultural policy studies, this book offers a uniquely detailed and comprehensive account of the historical evolution of cultural policies and their contestation within a single democratic polity, while treating these developments comparatively against the backdrop of contemporaneous influences and developments internationally. It traces the climate of debate, policies and institutional arrangements arising from the state’s regulation and administration of culture in Ireland from 1800 to 2010. It traces the influence of precedent and practice developed under British rule in the nineteenth century on government in the 26-county Free State established in 1922 (subsequently declared the Republic of Ireland in 1949). It demonstrates the enduring influence of the liberal principle of minimal intervention in cultural life on the approach of successive Irish governments to the formulation of cultural policy, right up to the 1970s. From 1973 onwards, however, the state began to take a more interventionist and welfarist approach to culture. This was marked by increasing professionalization of the arts and heritage, and a decline in state support for amateur and voluntary cultural bodies. That the state had a more expansive role to play in regulating and funding culture became a norm of cultural discourse.

    Introduction: The Politics and Polemics of Culture in Ireland, 1800–2010

    1. British Government and the Shaping of Irish Cultural Life in the Nineteenth Century

    2. Liberal Scruples and Cultural Revival, 1890–1916

    3. Institutional Experiments in Culture

    4. Culture and the Conservative Revolution, 1916–21

    5. Anarchy, Gaelicism and Culture, 1922–32

    6. Cultural Institutions and the Gaelic Ideal

    7. Flying the Nets of Insularity

    8. Culture, Tradition and the Individual Talent of Sean O'Faolain

    9. Culture and the Public Sphere, 1922–50

    10. Towards the Formation of an Arts Council, 1945–51

    11. Thriving on Official Neglect: Popular Culture, 1950–70

    12. The Arts Council in the 1950s

    13. The 1960s

    14. Charles Haughey and the Politics of Art

    15. Reforming the Arts Council

    16. The North Erupts: Studying Culture in Troubled Times

    17. Transforming the Arts Council

    18. Excellence or Access?: The Call for Cultural Democracy

    19. The Community Arts Movement

    20. Suddenly, a Department for Culture Emerges

    21. Mediating Culture: The Role of Arts Journalism

    22. The Construction of Heritage, 1950–1970

    23. The Institutionalisation of Heritage, 1970–2010

    24. Heritage in Conflict, 1992–2010

    25. Culture and the Celtic Tiger


    Pat Cooke was director of the MA in Cultural Policy and Arts Management at University College Dublin from 2006 to 2020. Prior to that he directed two major heritage sites on behalf of the state heritage service (Office of Public Works), Kilmainham Gaol and the Pearse Museum.