Bryan Fanning is Professor of Migration and Social Policy at University College Dublin. He has published extensively on immigration and social change in Ireland. His previous books include Racism and Social Change in the Republic of Ireland, Histories of the Irish Future, Irish Adventures in Nation Building and, as editor, Studies: An Irish Century 1912-2012.
Migration and the Making of Ireland richly explores accounts of migrant experiences across more than four centuries. The motivations that drove migration to Ireland and emigration from Ireland since the Plantation of Ulster are assessed. Political, economic and legal circumstances that made emigration and immigration possible or necessary are considered. Commonalities and differences across space and time between the experiences of incoming and outgoing migrants, with a strong emphasis on the recent waves of immigration that are re-shaping twenty-first century Ireland, are deeply explored. Early chapters examine the experiences of seventeenth-century settlers together with the experiences of those who left Ireland, eighteenth-century German Palatine immigrants, Jews who arrived during the late nineteenth century, the experiences of recent African, Polish and Muslim immigrants and many other groups. In each case, later chapters look at broader trends are illustrated with examples of the experiences of individuals and families who have journeyed to and from Ireland. Several cross-cutting themes are organically addressed throughout the book, including the role of family and communities in shaping decisions to migrate; experiences of emigration and immigration; the role of law as it relates to freedom of movement, rights to work and citizenship entitlements; and economic factors that influence decisions to migrate. Migration and the Making of Ireland is a landmark contribution to our understanding of modern Ireland and will be essential reading for anybody seeking to understand the diversity of twenty-first century Irish society.
'This is “the first comprehensive history of migration to and from the island of Ireland”, according to the publisher’s blurb. It certainly is comprehensive as it goes back to Neolithic times and up to more recent arrivals of Nigerians, Poles, Romanians and Muslims.'
Joe Carroll in the Irish Catholic. Read the full review here.
'When the Celtic Tiger arrived and the EU expanded, larger numbers of people began to arrive came from elsewhere in Europe, and also from further afield – prominently Nigeria, India, China and Pakistan.
In relating the stories of these groups Fanning does an excellent job of painting contours of the big picture with broad strokes on historical movements and statistical trends, and then also zooming in on individual stories through first-person accounts by new arrivals.'
Sam Tranum in The Dublin Inquirer, May 2018. Read the full review here.
'The great James Joyce picked Leopold Bloom, a Jewish ad-seller of Hungarian parentage, as his modern 'Everyman' as well as his quintessential Irishman and Dubliner. In Ulysses, the wise Bloom declares that "a nation is the same people living in same place".
It is a wonderfully easy, 'live and let live', non-judgmental and generous view of what a country should be, and a suitable riposte to the toxic xenophobes who are on the rise in Europe today.
Fanning charts just how rich this experience can be.'
Eamon Delaney in the Irish Independent, April 2018. Read the full review here.
'Some Muslims who came to Ireland as asylum seekers from countries like Somalia remain extremely marginalised. While most Muslims have integrated successfully, some are likely to see themselves as outsiders in Irish society.
The lessons from other European countries is these perceptions of exclusion cannot be allowed to fester.'
Bryan Fanning in the Irish Independent, March 2018. Read the full piece here
'There is, I think, much to learn from the experiences of past generations of migrants and their families that can help us understand the challenges facing the Ireland of today. One of these lessons is that it is difficult to make progress unless the racism and injustice experienced by some is acknowledged and addressed.'
Bryan Fanning in the Irish Examiner, March 2018. Read the full piece here
'Nothing seems at times to be so conducive to human misery, as ham-fisted attempts to regulate the admission of refugees; whether by corralling them in camps for years at a time or deliberately impeding efforts they might make under their own steam to integrate into host societies.'
Bryan Fanning in the Irish Times, March 2018. Read the full piece here
'This book is particularly to be welcomed at a time when European ethno-nationalism of the ugliest kind is making a return across the continent in such countries as Russia, Hungary, France and even England. Fanning's book is a fresh and fascinating survey of nation-making, not as the affirmation of some kind of blood-right, but as ongoing conversation, occasional conflict, adaptation and change.'
Piaras Mac Einri, The Irish Times, March 2018. Read the full review here.
'For all intents and purposes, evidence of racism presented by NGOs and set out in research by academics is taken less seriously than during the early 1960s. At least those complaints were acknowledged by the then government.'
Bryan Fanning featured on the thejournal.ie, March 2018. Read the full piece here.
'The kinds of wider circumstances that push and pull migrants from one place to another recur again and again - be it the 17th century or the 21st century'
Bryan Fanning in the Belfast Telegraph, March 2018. Read the full piece here