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    Geographies of Communality, Colonialism, and Capitalism: Ecology and the World-System

    Flaherty, Eoin (2013) Geographies of Communality, Colonialism, and Capitalism: Ecology and the World-System. Historical Geography, 41. pp. 59-79. ISSN 2331-7523

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    Drawing upon recent reworkings of world systems theory and Marx’s concept of metabolic rift, this paper attempts to ground early nineteenth-century Ireland more clearly within these metanarratives, which take the historical-ecological dynamics of the development of capitalism as their point of departure. In order to unravel the socio-spatial complexities of Irish agricultural production throughout this time, attention must be given to the prevalence of customary legal tenure, institutions of communal governance, and their interaction with the colonial apparatus, as an essential feature of Ireland’s historical geography often neglected by famine scholars. This spatially differentiated legacy of communality, embedded within a countrywide system of colonial rent, and burgeoning capitalist system of global trade, gave rise to profound regional differentiations and ecological contradictions, which became central to the distribution of distress during the Great Famine (1845-1852). Contrary to accounts which depict it as a case of discrete transition from feudalism to capitalism, Ireland’s pre-famine ecology must be understood through an analysis which emphasises these socio-spatial complexities. Consequently, this structure must be conceptualised as one in which communality, colonialism, and capitalism interact dynamically, and in varying stages of development and devolution, according to space and time.

    Item Type: Article
    Keywords: Geographies; Communality; Colonialism; Capitalism; Ecology; World-System;
    Academic Unit: Faculty of Social Sciences > Sociology
    Item ID: 11957
    Depositing User: IR Editor
    Date Deposited: 03 Dec 2019 11:20
    Journal or Publication Title: Historical Geography
    Publisher: UNM University Libraries
    Refereed: Yes
    Use Licence: This item is available under a Creative Commons Attribution Non Commercial Share Alike Licence (CC BY-NC-SA). Details of this licence are available here

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