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    The macro-context of communality in nineteenth century Ireland: toward a typology of social-ecological complexity (NIRSA) Working Paper Series. No. 72.


    Flaherty, Eoin (2013) The macro-context of communality in nineteenth century Ireland: toward a typology of social-ecological complexity (NIRSA) Working Paper Series. No. 72. Working Paper. NIRSA - National Institute for Regional and Spatial Analysis. (Unpublished)

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    Abstract

    The rundale system has held a certain fascination for Irish historians due to its troublesome prevalence in the cartographic record and comparative absence from historical record. As a system of communal cultivation characterised by equality of land allocation through collective governance, popular conflicting accounts have interpreted it both as a functional adaptation to the ‘ecological niche’ of the Irish Western Seaboard or, controversially, as a modern survival of an archaic, embryonic mode of production of great antiquity. Beyond such empirical concerns with its origins and spatial distribution, the rundale system raises theoretical concerns of some antiquity (such as those concerning the place of communal modes of production as precursors to the development of capitalism within Marxist historical-materialism), and other issues permeating foundational debates of sociology, concerning the relationship between the natural and the social, and systems-based conceptualisations of societies and social order. These latter theoretical concerns have recently enjoyed a resurgence of interest under the interdisciplinary rubrics of resilience ecology and complexity theory, offering a means with which to discard old dualisms of nature-society, and the restrictions of normative stability assumptions and structuralism imposed by earlier variants of post-war sociological systems theory. The rundale system is here explored in the context of these informants both as an exercise in theoretical compatibility, and with a view toward establishing a more rounded perspective on rundale as a distinct social-ecological system. A macro-context for this subsequent investigation is thus established by subjecting a set of aggregate data on prefamine Ireland to an optimisation clustering procedure, in order to discern the potential presence of distinctive social-ecological regimes. This resultant typology provides a contextual framework for subsequent quantitative and qualitative work at lower levels of aggregation.

    Item Type: Monograph (Working Paper)
    Keywords: macro-context of communality; nineteenth century Ireland; typology of social-ecological complexity;
    Academic Unit: Faculty of Social Sciences > Research Institutes > National Institute for Regional and Spatial analysis, NIRSA
    Item ID: 5424
    Depositing User: NIRSA Editor
    Date Deposited: 24 Sep 2014 15:27
    Publisher: NIRSA - National Institute for Regional and Spatial Analysis
    Funders: Irish Research Council for the Humanities and Social Sciences
    URI:

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