Conflicting Discourses of Power in Elizabethan Ireland and Early Stuart Ireland
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Conflicting Discourses of Power in Elizabethan Ireland and Early Stuart Ireland
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Feliks Levin 
Affiliation: National Research University Higher School of Economics
Address: Russian Federation, Saint Petersburg

The case of early modern Ireland exemplifies that state building in early modern Europe was also a product of discursive struggle, in which different sides in the attempt to take advantage of new opportunities appealed to the available discourse of legitimation. In 1570, as a result of intensification of the processes of the conquest of Ireland internal conflicts came to the fore. The reflection on the issue of governance in Ireland manifested itself in the emerging discourses and counter-discourses of power. Three types of discourses can be identified: the discourse of the deputyship, the discourse of the entire administrative apparatus during the period of consensus with lord deputies, and the discourse of Catholic nobility and gentry. Generally, the discourse of Irish administrative apparatus of Ireland was future-oriented and more depersonalized in which the apparatus of government was distinct from the political community. Conservative counter-discourse which emerged in response to the processes of displacement emphasized seigneurial model of royal power, consensual models of government and justified chosenness of Irish elite to govern the kingdom. In this traditional discourse office-holding was woven into the fabric of society since governing was the social role of the nobility and gentry.

Ireland, state-building, discourses of power, Thomas Wentworth, early modern time
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