Society: Vulnerability and Control
The approach taken in this book to analysing the Celtic Tiger holds that it is social outcomes that constitute the ultimate objective of the state-market relationship. In other words, economic growth is not seen as an end in itself but as the means to a better society. Furthermore, it holds that the ways in which the state and the market interrelate profoundly affect the social outcomes achieved. This chapter therefore turns to society in order to examine how the state-market relationship that constituted the Celtic Tiger impacted on society. Society is understood here in two distinct ways and each is examined in turn. The first is society as social structure, namely the fundamental ways in which the state-market relationship constitutes the structures of society and thereby influences greatly the quality of life available to people who live in that society. The second sense of society is society as an actor, what we often call civil society. This refers to the ways in which people come together in groups to influence power in society; these social groups and movements can exercise an influence on the way the state and the market interrelate but they in turn are also constrained and shaped by that interrelationship, as became only too obvious in the late Celtic Tiger period as we shall see below. Examining what has happened to society — as understood in these two senses — over the course of the Celtic Tiger is the subject of this chapter.
KeywordsCivil Society Environmental Protection Agency Trade Union Social Vulnerability Active Citizenship
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