Plebeian freethought and the politics of anti-colonial solidarity: Irish Buddhists in imperial Asia
Cox, Laurence (2010) Plebeian freethought and the politics of anti-colonial solidarity: Irish Buddhists in imperial Asia. Fifteenth international conference on alternative futures and popular protest. .
This paper explores the politics of a remarkable, if minor, conjuncture in world history. In the late 19th and early 20th century, Ireland saw a combination of (partially) successful land reform pushed by massive peasant resistance and a (partially) successful breaking away from the world's leading imperial power. This dramatic transformation, with few parallels close in place or time, was closely associated with processes of ethno-religious sectarianism and intensifying conflict between a declining Anglo-Irish imperial service class and a conservative Catholic nationalism, which marginalised labour and women's movements as well as alternative cultural discourses.
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