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Critical reflections on the Celtic Tiger

Sexual images and innuendo have become commonplace in contemporary advertising; they often fail to register in any meaningful way with the audience. This book examines the essentially racist stereotypes through which Irish people have conventionally been regarded have been increasingly challenged and even displaced perhaps by a sequence of rather more complimentary perspectives. The various developments that are signified within the figure of the Celtic Tiger might be considered to have radically altered the field of political possibility in Ireland. The enormous cuts in public expenditure that marked this period are held to have established a desirable, stable macroeconomic environment. The Celtic Tiger shows that one can use the rhetoric about 'social solidarity' while actually implementing policies which increase class polarisation. The book discusses the current hegemonic construction of Ireland as an open, cosmopolitan, multicultural, tourist-friendly society. The two central pieces of legislation which currently shape Irish immigration policy are the 1996 Refugee Act and the Immigration Bill of 1999. The book offers a critical examination of the realities of the Celtic Tiger for Irish women. Processes of nation state formation invariably invoke homogeneous narratives of ethnicity and national identity. To invoke a collective subject of contemporary Ireland rhetorically is to make such a strategic utopian political assumption. For the last few hundred years, the Gaeltacht has exemplified the crisis of Irish modernity. Culture becomes capital, and vice versa, while political action increasingly consists of the struggle to maintain democratic autonomy in the face of global market forces.

Simon Lee

model appears at the far centralist end of the spectrum’ (HCCLGC, 2009 : 15). From the very outset, any prospect of the advancement of the principles of decentralisation, democratic autonomy or active citizenship in England was dashed by New Labour’s nationalisation of the control of policy-making and resource allocation in England. This was engineered by a top-down statecraft

in These Englands
Abstract only
Infrastructure, financial extraction and the global South

No struggle for social justice that lacks a grounded understanding of how wealth is accumulated within society, and by whom, is ever likely to make more than a marginal dent in the status quo. Much work has been done over the years by academics and activists to illuminate the broad processes of wealth extraction. But a constantly watchful eye is essential if new forms of financial extraction are to be blocked, short-circuited, deflected or unsettled. So when the World Bank and other well-known enablers of wealth extraction start to organise to promote greater private-sector involvement in ‘infrastructure’, for example through Public-Private Partnerships (PPPs), alarm bells should start to ring. How are roads, bridges, hospitals, ports and railways being eyed up by finance? What bevels and polishes the lens through which they are viewed? How is infrastructure being transformed into an ‘asset class’ that will yield the returns now demanded by investors? Why now? What does the reconfiguration of infrastructure tell us about the vulnerabilities of capital? The challenge is not only to understand the mechanisms through which infrastructure is being reconfigured to extract wealth: equally important is to think through how activists might best respond. What oppositional strategies genuinely unsettle elite power instead of making it stronger?

Stella Gaon

confines of the ‘same’ (that is, within the self-same, within identity, and so on), these critiques of the logic of (democratic) autonomy have all but annihilated the satisfied conviction that we can ever be fully present to ourselves, masters of our own consciousnesses or consciences, and so ever fully ready for, available to, or capable of, complete moral and political agency. Alterity, so to speak, keeps coming to the fore in each and every one of the questions that are put to the categories of autonomy, identity and self-determination, the very categories upon which

in Democracy in crisis
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Barry Cannon

health, education, skills and resources) to take advantage of opportunities before them’, which ‘would radically enhance the ability of citizens to take action against the state’. 7 These rights would include an array of social rights in health and education and economic rights ‘to ensure adequate economic and financial resources for democratic autonomy’. It would therefore involve a central concern with distributional questions and matters of social justice ‘as anything else would hinder the realisation of the principle of autonomy and the rule of democracy’. 8

in Hugo Chávez and the Bolivarian revolution
Community, language and culture under the Celtic Tiger
Steve Coleman

struggle to maintain democratic autonomy in the face of global market forces. Yet what they term the ‘informatisation’ of eih ch-10.P65 187 26/3/03, 15:18 188 Coleman production amounts mostly to the transition to a service-based economy,58 a process in which Ireland is quite advanced. The typical service sector worker, whether he or she lives in Dublin, in Ros Muc, County Galway or even in Keokuk, Iowa, is now freer than ever to participate in a global community of Irish-speakers. As a cultural producer, he or she may find his or her products accruing market value

in The end of Irish history?
Duy Lap Nguyen

production. This democratic tradition, therefore, was based not upon the ideal of equal representation under the law (which Diệm dismissed, using Mounier’s terms, as a mere “supremacy of number”). Rather, it was based on the v 76 v Vietnamese anti-colonialism suspension, avoidance or nullification of law. A “cardinal mandate of the [Vietnamese political and juridical] system was to discourage litigation, and solve problems through local mediation. The proper realm of justice was not in the court, but outside it.”175 In that sense, the democratic autonomy of the

in The unimagined community
Women and the promise of peace in the ‘new’ Northern Ireland

). 55 Cowell-Meyers, ‘Women in Northern Ireland Politics’; Gilmartin, ‘Feminism, Nationalism and the Re-Ordering of Post-War Political Strategies’. 56 Ian O’Flynn, ‘Democratic Autonomy, Women’s Interests and Institutional Context’, Irish Political Studies , 22(4) (2007), 455–71. 57 Matthews, ‘Gendered Candidate Selection and the Representation of Women in Northern Ireland’. 58 Nancy Naples, Grassroots Warriors

in Northern Ireland a generation after Good Friday