For those in Ireland who lived through the 1970s and 80s, the recent unprecedented upsurge in the economic fortunes of Ireland has made this country almost unrecognisable. For years, Irish citizens were forced to leave for foreign lands to secure employment. We now find ourselves in the position where those people have returned home to a prosperous country and, in addition, we are welcoming people from all over the world to our country.
Ten years ago, who would have guessed that we would be rated the number one place to live by the Economist Intelligence Unit or labelled the most globalised state in the world by the Globalisation Index? Michael O'Sullivan's book takes a look at how the Celtic Tiger came into being.
Globalisation is the term used to describe the increasing interdependence and integration of economics, markets, nations and cultures. In Ireland's case, the author explains, the Global Question asks how a small open nation can independently manage the effects that globalisation has on its economy. This is different to the situation regarding larger countries, in which it relates to how it can continue to direct the process of globalisation in its favour.
O'Sullivan touches on the historical National Question, along with the much more recent Good Friday Agreement and how they are linked to the Global Question, along with important elements such as international trends in migration, politics and relations between nations. The overall view expressed is that the process of globalisation to this country has been kind but that "more demanding times await."
'Ireland and the Global Question' is an excellent and thoroughly researched academic title.
Mark O'Neill Cummins