Much recent sociological work on education makes reference to gender, sexual, ethnic, local and political ‘project’ identities, yet there remains a need to bring the nation, and the state, back in; to also question the way in which ‘national’ identities are constructed in a context of globalisation and localisation. Through an analysis of Irish primary history curriculum statements from 1971 and 1999, I identify some key features of the state’s response to identity construction in a globalised context. They include a focus on pupils becoming skilled in reflexively producing identity, and a focus on a ‘boundless’ globalised identity. These changes are not unproblematic.