Taming The Tiger, Social Exclusion in a Globalised Ireland

01 January 2004

Jacobsen - Taming the Tiger

This TASC publication argues that globalisation not only impacts global flows of trade, finance and investment, it represents a major challenge to both the Irish state and community stakeholders at the most local level. You can no longer consider any aspect of local development without situating it within a much broader horizon. The local is being profoundly shaped and reshaped by the events and actions that happen in distant places. Yet, despite this recognition and despite the widespread acceptance that contemporary Ireland is one of the most globalised societies in the world, there has been very little discussion about the link between these global processes and what happens at local level in Ireland. It is out of a recognition of this gap in academic and policy discourse that this book was born.

The book was also conceived as a sequel to an earlier volume that similarly grew out of a lecture series in DCU for those working in local development. Entitled In the Shadow of the Tiger: New Approaches to Combating Social Exclusion (Kirby and Jacobson, 1998), the book highlighted the continuing challenge of social exclusion at a time of economic boom and, in particular, of the potential of the area partnerships and of the community and voluntary sector in this context. 

This book examines the complex and ambiguous lessons of the Irish case, with a particular focus on its challenges for local government and local civil society. The various contributions are grouped into four parts that reflect this objective:

(a) the context of globalisation and social stratification that we now face;
(b) the perspectives of two key officials in the public sector;
(c) the third with various approaches to addressing the challenges outlined;
(d) the fourth with an agenda for action.

David Jacobson and Peadar Kirby of DCU offer an overview of the principal changes that have occurred in Ireland associated with the boom of the Celtic Tiger - firstly the economic and then the political and social.


"This direct and useful little book contains a clear warning about the Celtic-tiger miracle, some provocative facts, and a suggestion-a small demonstration even-of hope for the future" said Professor Charles Sabel.

"The claim is not, of course, that this book is just a reflection of that larger discussion, but rather that its invaluable-and, yes, hopeful-combination of an apparently traditional politics of equality with a novel openness and inquisitiveness would be hard to understand without it" he added.

David Jacobson is Professor of Economics at Dublin City University (DCU)
Peadar Kirby is an author and academic at the Department of Politics and Public Administration at the University of Limerick.
Deiric O Broin has been Chief Executive of NorDubCo, a research and policy unit at DCU, since 1999.

To read biographies click here

To read chaper 1 click here

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