Reflections on the Irish State
In recent years Ireland has experienced rapid change, economically, politically, socially and constitutionally, yet until now there has been no sustained multi-disciplinary study of these critically inter-linked spheres. In this new groundbreaking book, written for the non-specialist reader, former Taoiseach or Prime Minister (1981-1982, 1982-1987) Dr Garret FitzGerald reflects on the fundamental changes that have occurred and on their far-reaching consequences. Examining the forces that have drawn almost all Irish political parties to a common centre, the book questions the rationale and relevance of the current party political structure, and delves into the ever controversial area of ethics in politics. In the economic sphere the book discusses, among other issues, the profound impact of demographic change on Ireland's economic performance, and considers the social and psychological consequences of the rapid rise in average living standards, as well as the problem of reconciling a low tax regime with infra-structural improvement and fairer income distribution. The book also touches on the decline of religion as a moral force with the radicalisation of traditional society, and gives detailed consideration to the shifting ground occupied by Irish Nationalism in the era of the Belfast Agreement, the political rise of Sinn F?in, and growing European integration. Dr FitzGerald's humanity, wit and erudition have come together here to produce a classic.
Publication Date: 1/1/2003