First of the Small Nations traces the ideas and aspirations of the revolutionary generation in Ireland from the 1890s to 1918 who dreamt of an independent Irish state and imagined how an Irish foreign policy might look. It follows attempts to put these ideas into practice during the campaign for independence and how they evolved into the first Irish foreign policy in the decade after independence. During these years, efforts were focused on asserting the
young Irish state's independence as it pushed out the boundaries of Commonwealth membership, made a contribution at the League of Nations, and forged ties in Europe and America.
Many of the ideas that continue to shape Irish foreign policy - small state and European country; honest broker and international good citizen; mother-country with a diaspora and bridge between Europe and America - have their roots in this period. There is a strong modern and internationalist vein running through Irish nationalism, including outside ideas on how the international order should be arranged - from the desire to pursue a policy based on values, to attempts to create an
international rationale for independence, and an understanding of the influence of public opinion.
First of the Small Nations also shines a light on interwar European relations and how small states managed their affairs in a world system dominated by their larger neighbours. Drawing on a rich vein of archival sources and private papers, this study charts the beginnings of Irish foreign policy and the aspiration to be 'first of the small nations'.
Publisher: Oxford University Press
Number of pages: 288
Weight: 458 g
Dimensions: 217 x 142 x 21 mm
the first overview of foreign relations in the early years of Ireland's independence ... Keown provides an excellent introduction explaining Ireland's historic international connections. * Francis M. Carroll, Canadian Journal of Irish Studies *
new perspectives are what makes this book stand out from previous accounts ... He [Keown] spots the nuances of the diplomatic world that others might miss ... The book admirably succeeds in its aim of showing how an Irish foreign policy identity emerged and the young Irish state asserted its newfound international status. * Michael Kennedy, History Ireland *
The work adds further to the historiographical view that the history of Irish foreign policy is also the history of the Irish state and that Ireland was much more than an introverted, isolated, nationalist-focused state in the inter-war period. * Bernadette Whelan, European History Quarterly *