This article investigates the ways in which a shift from post-colonial nation building to neoliberal state restructuring has shaped church and Irish state relations regarding migrant welfare. It develops the extensive work of Bäckström and Davie (Welfare and Religion in 21st Century Europe: Configuring the Connections, Vol. 1. Farnham, Surrey: Ashgate 2010) and Bäckström et al. (Welfare and Religion in 21st Century Europe: Gendered, Religious and Social Change, Vol. 2. Farnham, Surrey: Ashgate 2011) on how majority churches in European countries are reclaiming a social welfare role as the state relinquishes this responsibility: first, by examining the domain of migrant welfare which is not developed in their work; and second, by arguing that majority church pro-migrant service provision, as it has evolved in recent decades, can be understood in relation to an emergent neoliberal mode of collective responsibility for migrant welfare. It suggests that in spite of other factors and forces that undermine Irish Catholic church authority, the marketization of more domains of life in the first decades of the 21st century has given new significance to Catholic Social Teaching and pro-migrant church initiatives.
Source: International Migration Review, first published online 29 April 2015