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    Ireland as a ‘competition state’

    Murphy, Mary P. and Kirby, Peadar (2007) Ireland as a ‘competition state’. IPEG Papers in Global Political Economy, 28.

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    Ireland’s economic boom from 1994 to 2000 (from which the term ‘Celtic Tiger’ was coined) has generated an extensive academic literature debating its causes, impacts and consequences. While an initial reading emphasised that economic transformation had been achieved through market liberalisation (Barry, 1999; Sweeney, 1999; Clinch, Convery and Walsh, 2002), this was soon contested by a literature that focused more on the crucial role played by the state. Scholar s at the influential Economic and Social Research Institute (ESRI) argued that ‘there was a great deal more to Ireland’s success than liberalization of markets. The state has been deeply implicated in the entire process, managing both economic development and the welfare state’ (Nolan, O’Connell and Whelan, 2000: 3). They conclude that ‘it is not a simple story of globalization, forced withdrawal of the state and the promotion of neo-liberalism’ (ibid.: 1). Ó Riain (2000, 2004) applied to the Irish state the concept of ‘embedded autonomy’ taken from Evans (1995) and he characterised it as a ‘flexible developmental state’ in contrast to the bureaucratic developmental states of East Asia, arguing that this constitutes a new model of state-led development that is more responsive to the demands and pressures of globalisation. His later work slightly amended the concept to that of a Developmental Network State (DNS) as ‘network centrality is critical to this new state – isolation from the local or the global renders it ineffective’ (2004: 4). While contested by O’Hearn (2000) and Kirby (2002), the concept of the developmental state was adopted by the National Economic and Social Council (NESC) in its 2003 tri-annual statement of the state’s economic and social strategy and used as the basis for proposing a Developmental Welfare State (DWS) for Ireland (NESC, 2003: 29-33; 2005a, 2005b).

    Item Type: Article
    Keywords: Ireland; competition state;
    Academic Unit: Faculty of Social Sciences > Sociology
    Item ID: 4587
    Depositing User: Dr. Mary Murphy
    Date Deposited: 18 Nov 2013 12:18
    Journal or Publication Title: IPEG Papers in Global Political Economy
    Publisher: British International Studies Association (BISA)
    Refereed: Yes
      Use License: This item is available under a Creative Commons Attribution Non Commercial Share Alike Licence (CC BY-NC-SA).Details of this licence are available here

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