How Did Ireland Become the World’s Most Globalised Country

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Examines the economic, social and foreign policy aspects of Ireland’s experience of globalisation and asks what other can countries learn from Ireland’s great leap forward.

The economic and social environment in 1980s Ireland was miserable. Unemployment peaked above 17% in 1985. So what changed in such a short time that Ireland now has the lowest jobless level in the EU (4.4%) and is now considered one of the most globalised countries in the world. Michael O’ Sullivan examines the economic, social and foreign policy aspects of Ireland’s experience of globalisation and asks what other can countries learn from Ireland’s great leap forward. --Ireland and the Global Question (ISBN 1859184022, Hardback, 234 x 156mm 224 pp, €29.95, £19.95).

“Ireland and the Global Question” is an analysis of how a small country with an open economy is affected by globalisation, and the ways in which it can manage the side effects of this. This book deals with the economic, social and international affairs aspects of Ireland’s embrace of globalisation, which is emerging as the most important issue in Irish public life.

It is a 'Question' whose effects on life in Ireland and indeed most other countries, are likely to persist and leave profound changes. In this respect the aim of the book is to help to frame the debate on the globalisation of Ireland and to encourage an examination of Ireland’s Global Question in the context of international trends in economics, international relations and politics.

The multi-disciplinary approach of "Ireland and the Global Question" uncovers many of the weaknesses that lie behind the complacent and clichéd view of the “Celtic Tiger”. An underlying trend in public life is that contentment with success is dulling the critical faculties of policymakers in several important areas, and few in Ireland now behave as if globalisation can do anything but bless the Irish people. In particular, at     a time when the world seems to be interested in the Irish case, there is a greater need for Irish policy makers to understand the world around them.

The overall assessment of the book is that globalisation has so far been kind to Ireland, but that more demanding times await it. A general assessment of globalisation in Ireland today produces a lop-sided picture. The economic globalisation of Ireland seems to have gone as far as it can go, such that new goals and a new approach to policy making are required if economic growth is to be sustained. The side effects of globalisation on society appear to be going too far, and need to be buffered by a bigger and more responsible role for the state.

About Michael O'Sullivan

Michael O’Sullivan was educated at University College Cork, Ireland and Balliol College, Oxford from where he obtained his masters and D.Phil degrees as a Rhodes Scholar. He has lectured economics and finance at Oxford and Princeton universities. Michael previously worked as a strategist for Goldman Sachs International, UBS Warburg and Commerzbank Securities before joining State Street Global Markets in 2003.

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