The need for a transnational approach within different academic disciplines has become even more pressing in light of the current processes of globalisation and migration. While collective and individual identities seem increasingly hybrid, questions of alterity and exclusion remain relevant issues. This also applies to Ireland, not least because of its own history of migration, and the more recent experience of immigration following the EU-enlargement in 2004.
While global phenomena traditionally have been defined in terms of the nation state, this concept is insufficient to account for complex networks and the movements of people, goods, and ideas throughout history. Transnational networks have been instrumental in shaping the course of Irish and other national histories and in the formation of cultural identities. Our experience is never only ‘national’ but rather a complicated dialectic of diverse ethnic, linguistic, regional, institutional and migrant identities. Transnational Studies brings these dialectics into focus and helps to rethink the borders of traditional assumptions about identity, sovereignty and citizenship. The Irish Centre for Transnational Studies (ICTS) offers a distinctive, interdisciplinary postgraduate and research environment, dedicated to scholarly and public discussion of these ideas.