The Case of Ireland: Commerce, Empire, and the European Order
by James Stafford
The late eighteenth and early nineteenth centuries have long been seen as a foundational period for modern Irish political traditions such as nationalism, republicanism, and unionism. The Case of Ireland (Cambridge University Press, 2022) offers a fresh account of Ireland's neglected role in European debates about commerce and empire in what was a global era of war and revolution. Drawing on a broad range of writings from merchants, agrarian improvers, philosophers, politicians, and revolutionaries across Europe, this book shows how Ireland became a field of conflict and projection between rival visions of politics in commercial society associated with the warring empires of Britain and France. It offers a new perspective on the crisis and transformation of the British Empire at the end of the eighteenth century and restores Ireland to its rightful place at the center of European intellectual history.
This event will be in person at the Heyman Center and live-streamed online. Please register for both in-person and virtual attendance via the link.
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James Stafford is faculty in the Department of History at Columbia University. He specializes in the political and intellectual history of Ireland, Britain and Western Europe since 1750, with a particular interest in questions of political economy and international order. The Case of Ireland, his first book, offers a fresh account of Ireland’s place in European debates about commerce and empire during a global era of war and revolution. Drawing on a broad range of writings from merchants, agrarian improvers, philosophers, politicians and revolutionaries across Europe, the book shows how Ireland became a field of conflict and projection between rival systems of political economy associated with the warring empires of Britain and France.
About the Speakers
Isaac Nakhimovsky is Associate Professor of History and Humanities at Yale University. His first book, The Closed Commercial State: Perpetual Peace and Commercial Society from Rousseau to Fichte (Princeton University Press, 2011), shows how, in the context of the French Revolution, the German philosopher J.G. Fichte came to theorize economic independence as an ideal, and developed a systematic political theory of what John Maynard Keynes later termed “national self-sufficiency.” His next book, The Holy Alliance: The Liberal Idea of a Federal Europe after 1815, is under contract for Princeton University Press.
Susan Pedersen, Gouverneur Morris Professor of History and department chair at Columbia University, specializes in British history, the British empire, comparative European history, and international history. Her book about the League of Nations and its impact on the imperial order, The Guardians: The League of Nations and the Crisis of Empire, appeared from Oxford University Press in the summer of 2015.
Pablo Piccato is Associate Professor of History and Director of the Institute of Latin American Studies at Columbia University. He is the author of City of Suspects: Crime in Mexico City, 1900–1931, published by Duke University Press, and a co-editor of True Stories of Crime in Modern Mexico. His research and teaching focus on modern Mexico, particularly on crime, politics, and culture. He has taught as visiting faculty in universities in Mexico, Argentina, Brazil, and France.
Nadia Urbinati, Kyriakos Tsakopoulos Professor of Political Theory at Columbia University, is a political theorist who specializes in modern and contemporary political thought and the democratic and anti-democratic traditions. She co-chaired the Columbia University Faculty Seminar on Political and Social Thought and was a co-editor with Andrew Arato of the academic journal Constellations: An International Journal of Critical and Democratic Theory. She is a member of the Executive Committee of the Foundation Reset Dialogues on Civilization and the Feltrinelli Foundation (Milan).