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Gavan Titley

The official visions of Ireland as a 'migration nation' that circulated during the Celtic Tiger period were not ultimately that different from the image of the frozen cultures, endlessly celebrating themselves, presented in New Thinking = New Ireland. This chapter examines how the dynamic of visibility/invisibility is threaded through the episodes of state intervention in the problem of migration. It also examines how the Irish state, in common with other European states, placed significant emphasis on the need for 'integration', while imposing an increasingly stratified system of entry and residence that serves, in fact, to dis-integrate the population. The chapter discusses the racist spectacle of the 2004 Citizenship referendum. In examining its political calculus and impacts, the chapter argues that its wider political significance requires re-consideration in the light of 'austerity' politics.

in Ireland under austerity
Michael Taft

Business in Ireland is too important to be left to Irish business. The left must become the promoters and champions of the native enterprise. In addition to the under-performance of the Irish business, it has been the distorted level of the domestic investment. In Ireland, indigenous enterprise is more rooted in the domestic economy than the foreign-owned operations. Irish domestic legal and accounting firms make up 3.2 per cent of all value-added in the market economy. A number of surveys of the managerial skill base have been conducted in Irish domestic enterprises and have found serious flaws. The Irish Congress of Trade Unions, too, launched policy initiatives that sought to prioritise market production through the public economy in its Public Enterprise, Everybody's Business. Neither of these were necessarily revolutionary programmes, but they unashamedly posited the role of the public realm in market production.

in Ireland under austerity
Abstract only
Austerity and the community sector in the Republic of Ireland
John Bissett

The Community Development Project (CDP) in North Clondalkin was a part of what has become known in Ireland as the 'community sector'. An Irish Congress of Trade Unions (ICTU) report presents the broad contours of this sector in Ireland and describes 'the impact of the financial crisis on community and voluntary organisations: their services and clients, employment and role'. The ICTU document focuses very much on the economic onslaught on the community sector as a productive utilitarian entity. The Spectacle of Defiance and Hope is a broad alliance of community and youth organisations which has its roots in working-class and Traveller communities in the city of Dublin. At a large meeting in Dublin's city centre, participants argued that 'defiance' and 'hope' expressed two themes that were, for them, at the heart of the struggle against the forceful imposition of austerity and its potential transcendence.

in Ireland under austerity
Abstract only
The financialisation of Ireland and the roots of austerity
Conor McCabe

This chapter focuses on the mechanisms by which finance in Ireland sustains and reproduces itself, in particular how it was able to protect itself during the 2008 crisis. Ireland, however, was very much the poster-boy for austerity. The chapter lays out a narrative of the events from 2007 to 2014. It also focuses on the power relations which lurked in the background during what one former Taoiseach called the 'boomier' times. The underlying thesis is that of an indigenous middleman/comprador class with the business interests concentrated mainly on the financial administration and the property speculation, which used the full power of the Irish state, to protect itself from its own profit-seeking strategies. The democratic deficit within the Irish state did not begin in 2008, but the events which emanated from that year brought it into a sharp and depressing focus.

in Ireland under austerity
Alison Spillane

This chapter focuses on the effects of the Irish crisis on women in terms of public expenditure cutbacks and on women's position in both the formal labour market and in relation to unrecognised care work. It also looks at the issues of domestic and sexual violence against women, the female body as a site of struggle during the crisis, and the ways in which women have organised to resist austerity. The way in which austerity has been meted out highlights the deep class divisions in Irish society, with those in lower income groups being disproportionately hit by expenditure cuts and taxation measures. The implementation of austerity has been a calculated and systematic assault on the least well-off in Irish society. The chapter argues that abortion in cases of fatal foetal abnormality would be constitutionally permissible and could therefore have been included in the legislation.

in Ireland under austerity
Kieran Allen

The mainstream economists argue that the underlying model of the Irish economy that preceded the crash was fundamentally sound. This was based on attracting foreign direct investment by identifying the areas where Ireland had a comparative advantage. The mainstream view in Irish economics is well represented in a special issue of World Economy which contained articles written by prominent figures such as John Fitzgerald, John McHale, and Philip Lane. The mainstream of the Irish economics profession has developed close connections with the Irish political elite and have provided an intellectual framework to justify its austerity policies. Keynesianism has been effectively marginalised within Irish academic economics as a practical policy for dealing with the crash. Keynesians reject the idea of a self-regulating market and, in the Irish context, point to the role of neo-liberal ideas in promoting a 'light touch' regulation which caused the economic crash.

in Ireland under austerity
Angela Nagle

This chapter looks at how Irish state ideology has invoked a post-industrial cyberutopian vision of the future, one that originates in Cold War think tanks, to make Ireland's poor level of infrastructure and indigenous productive enterprise look like a virtue. It then looks at how this post-industrial aesthetic, which blended the anti-industrial back-to-nature nostalgia with personalised self-expressive information technologies, has also been employed by putatively oppositional voices throughout the post-bailout period. Before the bailout, the government was rolling out plans for Ireland to become a 'world-class knowledge economy'. But equally, in 2009, as the economy was sinking into a recession, Brian Cowen expressed his vision for Ireland to become the 'European Silicon Valley'. The post-material values of the free culture preached the virtues of voluntary labour and who went on to be the architects of Silicon Valley and of the new economy.

in Ireland under austerity
Suicide, violence and austerity
Michael Cronin

This chapter argues that the years since the onset of the recession in Ireland in 2008 have been characterised not by passivity and quietism but by extreme violence. The nature of the violence illustrates the changing nature of political opposition and the role of suicide and self-harm in restructuring the conflict between the victims of recession and between the haves and the have-nots in situations of worsening inequality. David Adams, an Irish Times columnist, claimed that 'while suicide remains a taboo subject we will continue avoiding a much-needed open and honest public discussion on the subject'. Kathleen Lynch, spoke of the 'enormous bearing' of alcohol on suicide and self-harm rates in the Republic of Ireland, but predictably failed to signal either the 'enormous bearing' of austerity on self-harm or of alcohol abuse as a self-destructive survival strategy.

in Ireland under austerity
Daniel Finn

One of the most striking consequences of Ireland's economic meltdown has been the transformation of its relationship with the European Union (EU). A debate between Andy Storey and Laurent Pech in the pages of the Irish Review offers a useful window onto the serious discussion about the character of the EU. The actions of the European Commission and the European Central Bank (ECB) since 2008 have cast a very different light on Ireland's membership of the Union, leading many to wonder, whose interests are really served by the European integration. From the time Ireland joined the European Economic Community (EEC) to the early years of the Celtic Tiger, Brussels was generally seen as a benefactor, the source of vital structural funding and of farm subsidies channelled through the Common Agricultural Policy. Left-wing 'No' campaigners had argued that the Lisbon Treaty would hasten Ireland's absorption into an EU military bloc.

in Ireland under austerity
An introduction to the book
Colin Coulter

The 'fireside chat' that dominated the media coverage of the high-tech conference offers certain indelible insights into the version of Irish society that has been forged out of the experience of crisis and austerity. The imposition of the austerity agenda has necessarily posed serious ideological difficulties for the Irish state. While the austerity agenda is invariably depicted as serving the interests of all, in reality it has served the interests of only a few. The measures introduced by the Irish government have ensured that the neoliberal crisis would have neoliberal solutions. In their important critique of the Celtic Tiger period, Peadar Kirby notes that the ideas that have dominated public life in Ireland since the 1960s have chimed with the tenets of 'modernisation theory'.

in Ireland under austerity