Ireland is going through a period of unprecedented economic and cultural growth and renewal. These changes are due in part to neoliberal policies that have attracted foreign investment.
The globalization of Ireland's economy has had major social consequences. Living standards are rising quickly. Emigration has reversed. Catholicism has been secularized, laws on divorce and sexuality have been liberalized and Ireland has become an urban society for the first time.
But there is stark inequality and social exclusion; epidemics of depression, alcoholism, and obesity; traditional values and community are declining; and there is deep ambivalence towards immigrants. Ireland's economy is globalized, but is Irish society cosmopolitan? Wealth has increased, but has quality of life improved? The authors explore the developments of the last 15 years, capturing the intensity of the debates that make up the new cosmopolitan multi-cultural Ireland.
Carmen Kuhling is a Lecturer in Sociology and Gender, Culture and Society. She is the co-author of Cosmopolitan Ireland (Pluto, 2007). Kieran Keohane is a Senior Lecturer in Sociology at University College Cork. He is the co-author of Cosmopolitan Ireland (Pluto, 2007).
Part 1: Globalisation and Social Inequality in Ireland. 1. Economics: Social inequality and the Celtic Tiger 2. Politics: Continuity and Change in Irish Political Culture Part 2: Cosmopolitan Ireland (?): The Diversification and Commodification of Irish Identity. 3. Culture: Race and Multiculturalism in Ireland 4. Consumption: Guinness, Ballygowan and Riverdance: the Globalisation of Irish Identity Part 3: Globalisation and the Quality of Life in Ireland. 5. Depression: The Melancholy Spirit of the Celtic Tiger. 6. Binge drinking and Overeating: Globalisation and Insatiability Part 4: Beyond 'Consumer Citizenship' and Neo-Liberalism: Cosmopolitanising Ireland 7. Social Welfare and Redistribution: Taxation and 'Civic Health' 8. Education and Recognition: The Cultivation of a Cosmopolitan Imaginary 9. Conclusion: A Cosmopolitan Ethics for a Post-National Society References Index