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Carleton College

Publication Date

Fall 2004

Program Name

Ireland: Peace and Conflict Studies


In this paper, I hope to explore Irish reactions to multi-culturalism through the highly controversial citizenship referendum. This referendum, through which the twenty-seventh amendment to the Irish Constitution will be made, is fundamentally changing Ireland’s citizenship policy from one of jus soli and jus sanguinis to one of just jus sanguinis. This change has been made amid current inflows of immigrants, many of whom are racially distinct and come from a variety of cultural backgrounds. The framing question for this paper is: Like other European countries, Ireland is making the transition from a racially homogenous society to a more heterogenous one. In light of this recent shift, how are Irish societal views on multi-culturalism reflected in the debates about citizenship in Ireland and the implications of the Citizenship Referendum? It is difficult to make a generalizations and conclusions based one facet of Irish multi-culturalism, however based on my research I have provided some insight into Irish society and how it is dealing with its new found racial and cultural diversity. In this paper, I have tried to capture some of the current dialogue surrounding multi-culturalism, citizenship, immigration, Irish identity and racism.


Demography, Population, and Ecology | Public Policy


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