Neutrality has, supposedly, long been a pillar of the Irish national identity. But examining the concept reveals it to be a vague, flimsy and elastic notion that, throughout history, various governments have been happy to stretch or, in some cases, abandon entirely. Today, warfare has expanded to include cyberattacks, environmental concerns, election interference and disinformation. If our traditional idea of warfare is changing, should our idea of neutrality change, too?
In this timely and thought-provoking examination of a core tenet of Irish society, Conor Gallagher explores the practical and ethical implications of choosing a side. He asks, in the face of aggression, is it right to sit back and do nothing? And is it even possible to be neutral in such an interconnected world?