This is a fascinating time to study the United States as it comes to terms with its global status as a ‘unipolar’ power and the Clinton Institute offers a very fresh perspective on the US in the 21st century.
Under conditions of Globalization the meanings of ‘America’ circulate widely today and there is a mass-mediated common knowledge about American life spreading across the world. Yet, wherever we are in the world, we perceive and understand the United States from regional and local perspectives, and in response to cultural, political and economic imperatives of our own locations. The Clinton Institute will work to broaden and deepen knowledge of the United States from a distinctively Irish perspective and advance study of Irish-US relations in historical and contemporary frames.
Ireland’s relationship with the US is a long and complex one. The history of Irish immigration to the US has proved the foundation for vital cultural, political and economic relations today, and strong bonds of shared identity – almost 40 million Americans cited Irish descent at the last census. At the same time, Ireland has rapidly emerged in recent years as one of the wealthiest economies in the European Union and a key political presence in the shaping of the ‘new Europe’. Today, there is public discussion of whether Ireland should follow ‘Boston or Berlin’ as symbolic models for policy-making or for imagining the future. Ireland’s contemporary struggle with its own identity and its symbolic transatlantic position make it an ideal vantage point for the study of past, present and future relations between Europe and the US.
The Clinton Institute will play a key role in advancing study of these relations through promotion of American Studies as a unique, interdisciplinary perspective on transatlantic issues. In doing so it will support and supplement this study in association with scholars across Ireland and in dialogue with Irish media, business and political cultures.