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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.

Editor’s Introduction
Juliano Fiori

West. A new political economy of humanitarian aid developed, reinforcing the symbiosis between humanitarianism and the state. The sufficiency of a humanitarian minimum became justification for cuts in public expenditure, particularly as NGOs offered themselves as subcontractors for the provision of essential services at home and abroad. Western governments placed pressure on NGOs to carry out neomanagerial reforms that would promote cultural synergies with their own overseas aid departments, now reorganised according to the business

Journal of Humanitarian Affairs
Thomas Robb

Callaghan’s expectations. In the final assessment, the Ford administration was unwilling to acquiesce to Callaghan’s request for a number of interlinked reasons. The most obvious was that they simply did not agree with his argument that Britain’s public expenditure only required a small reduction. Secondly, the drawn out negotiating process between the British government and the IMF showcased how a number of longer-term trends in British economic and defence policy had undermined the US–UK relationship to a point that the US did not believe Britain any longer warranted

in A strained partnership?
Interpreting the unions–party link
Steve Ludlam

(exceptions were McDonnell 1978; Fryer 1979). Fractions of capital proved much more interesting to Marxist academics than did fractions of labour. Responding to these economic and political crises, the Labour Government introduced ‘the largest cuts in real public expenditure that have occurred in the last fifty years’ (Jackson 1991: 73). These cuts, it should be emphasised, largely pre-dated the over-mythologised International Monetary Fund (IMF) deal of 1976 when, in a highly public manner, the Government was forced to announce more public spending cuts in return for loans

in Interpreting the Labour Party
The crisis of British social democratic political economy
Noel Thompson

one million mark earlier in the decade. Sterling entered yet another period of post-war crisis and in order to steady the ship the Labour government had recourse in 1975/6 to the financial lifeboat of the IMF (see Burk and Cairncross 1991; Hickson 2005). But this rescue came at a price for in theory, if not always in practice, pragmatically, if not always with intellectual conviction, the government felt obliged to embrace some of the nostra of monetarism and exert a measure of control over public expenditure in general and its public sector borrowing requirement

in In search of social democracy
Open Access (free)
Thomas Robb

inflationary pressures generated by the oil embargo, had led to an unsupportable budget deficit. To combat this, public expenditure cutbacks had been enacted in Anthony Barbour’s budgets of 1973–74 in order to reduce Britain’s borrowing requirements.101 Britain’s defence budget, however, remained largely unaffected by such cutbacks until December 1973, when it was announced that defence would incur a cut of £178 million.102 Such was the seriousness of these economic problems that the likes of Lord Rothschild – who headed up Heath’s economic think tank – were predicting that

in A strained partnership?
Peter Dorey

taxation, alleged hostility to enterprise and entrepreneurship, and high levels of public expenditure. However, the Conservatives after May 1997 were perplexed by a Labour government which rejected nationalisation, refused to increase income tax and actually reduced corporation tax, and contemplated further privatisation (as well as private sector involvement in public services via Public–Private Partnerships, and the continued application of Private Finance Initiatives, initiated by the previous Conservative government). The Blair government posed a further problem for

in The Conservatives in Crisis
Open Access (free)
Neil McNaughton

, notably through the manipulation of levels of tax and public expenditure. Supply-side economics returns to the classical principle that such control is counter-productive and that there is a natural process whereby such problems as inflation, or high interest rates will correct themselves automatically. However, this process depends on the ability of the economy to adjust to these mechanisms. In particular the ‘supply side’ (i.e. production and distribution of goods and services) needs to be both flexible and dynamic. Margaret Thatcher and her advisers were of the

in Understanding British and European political issues
State-based institutions to advocate for gender equality
Anne Marie Goetz

national policy statement detailed budget implications of any of the proposed policies. As with national planning experiences in Morocco, Jamaica and Bangladesh, this failure to follow through recommendations with clear calculations of public expenditure implications is an important reason why WID/GAD policy commitments tend to stay trapped on paper. In sum, WID/GAD institutions in many of the case studies have developed a capacity for strategic planning, but what they still lack is a capacity to ensure that national policy commitments to the integration of gender in

in Mainstreaming gender, democratizing the state?
Credibility, dirigisme and globalisation
Ben Clift

estimated Fr 110 billion cost of the policy was met through a mixture of ‘cost-shuffling’ and increased public debt (Levy 2001: 204). In the run up to the 1997 election, the PS manifesto noted: ‘Only an engagement of public power can triumph over massive unemployment. A master budget, re-orienting public expenditures towards employment, will be a powerful lever of action’.3 ‘Active’ employment policy takes a number of forms, from apprenticeships, and work placements, to state-subsidised jobs, and employers’ social security exemptions. These targeted particular groups

in In search of social democracy