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Thomas A Boylan, "Political Economy and Colonial Ireland: The Propagation and Ideological Functions of Economic Discourse in the Nineteenth Century"
Publisher: Routledge | 1992 | ISBN 041506628X | PDF | 224 pages | 5.2 MB
In a nineteenth-century Ireland that was divided socially, economically, politically, and denominationally, consensus was sought in the new discipline of political economy, which claimed to be scientifically impartial and to transcend all divisions. In Political Economy and Colonial Ireland, the authors explore the ideological mission of political economy, and the reasons for the failure of that mission in the wake of the crisis induced by the Great Famine of 1846-47. This book provides the first history of the academic and non-academic propagation of the discipline of political economy in Ireland. The authors explore the foundation and careers of university chairs, the teaching of the subject to children in the national schools, and the central role of the Archbishop Richard Whately. The Great Famine provoked an Irish outcry against political economy, and especially its constant companion, the laissez-faire system. The validity and universality of its laws were attacked, and within ten years a moral critique of the discipline had challenged its scientific status. A political economy based on "Irish ideas" rather than on the English experience, and stressing social and cooperative values over individualism and self-interest, was embraced, and the discipline itself was thus transformed.
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