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‘Cultural Criminology, Governmentality and the Liquidity of the Failing State: The View from Ireland’ for <em class="a-plus-plus">Critical Criminology</em>

Critical Criminology

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A number of incidents and community movements in the post-economic growth era have come to shape understandings of the Republic of Ireland’s marginalised groupings. These groups exist in both urban streetscapes and rural communities; all have come to represent a new culture of transgressive resistance in a state that has never completely dealt with issues of political legitimacy or extensive poverty, creating a deviant form of ‘liquid modernity’ which provides the space for such groupings to exist. The article demonstrates that the prevailing ideology in contemporary, post-downturn Ireland have created the conditions for incidents of ‘cultural criminology’ that at times erupt into episodes of counter hegemonic governmentality. The article further argues that these groups which have emerged may represent the type of transgressive Foucaultian governmentality envisaged by Kevin Stenson, while they are indicative of subcultures of discontent and nascent racism which belie the contented findings of various affluence and contentment surveys conducted during the years of rapid growth. The paper develops this theme of counter-hegemonic ‘governmentality’, or the regional attempts to challenge authorities by local groups of transgressors. The paper finally argues that, in many ways, the emergence of a culture of criminality in the Irish case, and media depictions of the same, can be said to stem from the corruption of that country’s elites as much as from any agenda for resistance from its beleaguered subcultures.