Tom Garvin


Life
1943- ; son of John Garvin [q.v.]; appt. to Chair of Politics at UCD (NUI), 1991; has also taught in Washington and Holyoke; author of The Evolution of Irish Nationalist Politics (1981), Nationalist Revolutionaries in Ireland 1858-1928 (1987); Mythical Thinking in Political Life (2001), et al.; has also held appointments at University of Georgia, Colgate University and Mount Hoyloke College; elected MRIA, March 2003; Preventing the Future: Why Was Ireland So Poor for so Long? (2004); Burns Scholar at Boston College, Centre for Irish Programs, Fall 2006.; issued News from a New Republic: Ireland in the 1950s (2010), dealing with modernisers and the forces of reaction against which they had to struggle. FDA

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Works
Monographs
  • The Irish Senate (Dublin: IPA [1969]), 100pp.;
  • The Evolution of Nationalist Politics (Dublin: Gill & Macmillan 1981), xii, 244pp. [new. edn., 2005, viii, 262pp.];
  • 1922: The Birth of Irish Democracy (NY: St. Martin’s Press, 1996), xii, 240pp., and Do. [rep.] (Dublin: Gill & Macmillan 2005), 256pp.,
  • Nationalist Revolutionaries in Ireland (Oxford: OUP 1987), 180pp.;
  • Preventing the Future: Why Was Ireland Poor for So Long? (Dublin: Gil & Macmillan 2004), ix, 340pp.;
  • News from a New Republic: Ireland in the 1950s (Dublin: Gill & Macmillan 2010), 234pp.
 
Miscellaneous
  • ‘Change and the Political System’, in Unequal Achievements: The Irish Experience 1957-82, ed., Frank Litton (Dublin 1982);
  • ‘Priests and Patriots: Irish Separatism and Fear of the Modern, 1890-1914’, in Irish Historical Studies , 25, 97 (May 1986) [q.pp.];
  • ‘The Politics of Denial and of Cultural Defence: the Referenda of 1983 and 1986 in Context’, in The Irish Review, 3 (1988) [q.pp.]
  • contrib. to Richard Caplan & John Feffer, eds., Europe’s New Nationalism: States and Minorities in Conflict (N: OUP 1996) [chap. on Ireland];
  • ‘Patriots and Republicans: An Irish Evolution’, in Ireland and the Politics of Change, ed. William J.. Crotty & David A. Schmitt, [Chap. 8.] (London:  Longman 1998), pp.144-[56 - see extract];
  • ‘North’s Referendum will End Dev’s Bid to Undo the 1921 Treaty’, in The Irish Times (14 May 1998);
  • Foreword to Joseph Johnston, Civil War in Ulster: Its Objects and Probable Results [1913] (UCD Press 1999) [for Johnston, q.v.];
  • with Desmond O’Malley, ‘Redefining Southern Nationalism’, in Redefining the Union and the Nation [Irish-British Working Papers, No. 1 ([Dublin]: Institute for British-Irish Studies, UCD 2001), 8pp. [O’Malley, “A political perspective”; Garvin, “An academic perspective”];
  • ed., with Maurice Manning, Richard Sinnott, Dissecting Irish Politics: Essays in Honour of Brian Farrell (UCD Press 2004); ‘The Quiet Tragedy of Canon Sheehan’, in Studies, Vol. 98, No. 390 (Dublin: 2009), pp.159-16.

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Quotations
In ‘North’s Referendum will End Dev’s Bid to Undo the 1921 Treaty’ (The Irish Times, 14 May 1998), Garvin writes of Eamon De Valera’s projected Irish nation as being to ‘continuous with an imagined Irish, Gaelic Catholic and communal past.’ (Quoted in Diarmuid Ó Giolláin, Locating Irish Folklore: Tradition, Modernity, Identity, Cork UP 2000, p.2.)

Nationalist Revolutionaries in Ireland (Oxford: Clarendon Press 1987) [on the genus]: ‘the nationalist’s hatred of the recent past debarred him from taking up a Burkean incremental conservatism which treasured past ways while accepting gradual innovation. The separatist was, commonly, a restorationist of an extinct past rather than a preserver of continuity with the recent, genuine past.’ (p.109; quoted in quoted by Fionntán de Brun, in ‘Temporality and Revivalism’ [UU Research Series, April 2011].)

Nationalist Revolutionaries in Ireland (1987) - cont.: ‘The politicisation of culture effected by the League in the early years of the century was to creat an official cultural ideology which was arguably hostile to much of the real culture of the community … This official ideology was to dominate much of Irish cultural lfie for a generation after independence.’ (p.78; quoted in Nuala C. Johnson, ‘Making Space: Gaeltacht Policy and the Politics of Identity’, in Brian Graham, ed., Geography Bibliogrpahy, In Search of Ireland: A Cultural Geography of Ireland, Routledge 1997, 174-91, p.179.)

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The [1916] Rising and Democracy’, in Revising the Rising, ed. Máirín Ní Donnchadha & Theo Dorgan (Derry: Field Day 1991: ‘[t]he true tragedy of the 1912-21 period was the absence of a really consensual politics in British ruled Ireland [21; …] essentially my contention is that the British caused 1916, the War of Independence, and the Civil War by their self-indulgent misrule over a long period [… 24]; Irish Catholic clerical fear of Protestant proselytism and British and Irish anti-Catholic bigotry formed an irresistible Holy Alliance aginast the provision of university education for Catholics. [23]; The national schools, the convents and the Christian Brothers created a stratum of highly intelligent, well-trained and incompletely educated young men and women who were perfect material for revolutionary politics of the new century.’ [24] (pp.21-28.)

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The Birth of Irish Democracy (1996), p.1: ‘Studies of contemporary Irish society, history and politics have tended to suffer from the habit of viewing Irish affairs as unique and generally unlike such affairs elsewhere. There is also a tendency to unndertrate the influence of outside forces, based in America and continental Europe, in favour of seeing Ireland as blanketed by British culture only. Th[is] tendency was generated in part by the usual British Isles parochialism that overshadows social studies in both countries: England was unique in being the first true nation-state, and therefore Ireland had to be unique in being the first true colony.’ (Quoted in Edna Longley, ‘Postcolonial versus European and post-Ukanian Frameworks for Irish Literature’, Irish Review, 25, 1999/2000, p.76.)

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Patriots and Republicans: An Irish Evolution’, in Ireland and the Politics of Change, ed. William J. Crotty & David A. Schmitt, [Chap. 8.] (London:  Longman 1998), pp.144-[56]: ‘[In 1957] A national Catholic tradition of cultural defence was ensconced in powr in both the state and the Catholic Church to which the state was so closely allied. This tradition defended itself by using the leaders of both church and state against both internal and external perceived enemies. Religious traditionalism, a small-town and rural nationalism and a political and cultural isolationism attempted to preserve itself against its perceived enemies of liberalism, cosmopolitanism and non-Catholic, commonly British, freethinking. Battles were won or lost in the democratic arena, but the process was one of a continuous politics of cultural defence which certainly dated back to the late nineteenth century. In many ways, that battle is still being waged in the late 1990s, although the defenders have suffered very substantial, perhaps decisive, defeats. / This chapter outlines the process by which a popular nationalist alliance between Catholicism and “republicanism” gradually crumbled. It is suggested [144] that it has been replaced by a general Irish patriotism which does not need to attach itself to religious or tribal identity. Unfortunately, this new secular identity is one that is little understood in Northern Ireland or among some Irish-Americans. Indeed, it is little understood in parts of the Republic itself, or if it is understood, is disliked and feared. / The process is not one that is peculiar to Ireland, although it has taken a particularly well-articulated form there. [...].’ (p.144-45.)

Further [Conclusion:] The Irish experience vividly illustrates a lesson that many political leadres have had to learn in the twentieth century: that there are clear limits and considerable costs attached to any ambitious project of social engineering through political means. Prohibition in the United States generated a gangland underworld that has haunted the country ever since. Similarly, Soviet communism has robbed the Russian people of the kinds of political and economic habits deemed necessary to construct a modern civic order. / In Ireland, the attempt by priests and patriots to construct a political order morally superior to that of a century ago had the consequence of repressing much Irish social and cultural energy following independence. A quantifiable aspect of the price paid for this endeavour is very probably the sluggish economic growth of th efirst decades after World War II. It was only when the power of the old revolutionaries and their ecclesiastical allies started to wane in the 1960s that economic growth started to surge. ireland had to recover from its Catholic revolution.’ (p.155; available online; accessed 03.08.2014.)

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Reference
RIA Announcements (March 2003): Professor Tom Garvin (UCD) born in Dublin in 1943 has been Professor of Politics at University College Dublin since 1991 and is one of the world’s foremost authorities on contemporary Irish political history. He is a Fulbright Scholar and an alumnus of the Woodrow Wilson International Centre for Scholars, Smithsonian Institution, Washington DC and has taught at UCD, the University of Georgia, Colgate University and Mount Holyoke College. His books combine a keen appreciation and knowledge of recent Irish history with the insights of modern political science, and include The Evolution of Irish Nationalist Politics (1981); Nationalist Revolutionaries in Ireland (1987); 1922; The Birth of Irish Democracy [sic]; and Mythical Thinking in Political Life (2001). He is currently working on the politics of Irish economic and social development. (See Royal Irish Academy Website.)

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