Dominant Readings

  • Peadar Kirby
Part of the International Political Economy Series book series (IPES)


The three chapters in the previous part have described the contours of the Celtic Tiger boom and its aftermath. In this part, we move to a more analytical treatment, showing how there is no one understanding of any social phenomenon like the Celtic Tiger boom, but that different theoretical frameworks offer different interpretations or readings. The origins of disagreements and debates can, therefore, usually be traced back to these theoretical frameworks so that, if we want to gain a deeper understanding, we need to examine the theoretical frameworks used to interpret the social phenomenon in question. The fact that disagreements and debates have their origins in different theoretical approaches is usually missed by media and popular accounts with the result that one reading or interpretation can become dominant and others be disregarded or marginalised without any in-depth examination or assessment of where the real differences lie and of their significance. This was very true of the Celtic Tiger period in Ireland where an interpretation based on neoclassical economics became widely accepted, celebrating the free market and dismissing the role of the state and public policy as illustrated in the quote with which this chapter opens. The sudden collapse of the Irish boom has therefore raised important questions about the adequacy of the dominant reading and how more critical readings were marginalised from mainstream discussion and influence on policymaking.


Foreign Direct Investment Human Development Index Modernisation Theory Gross National Product Irish Society 
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  1. 6.
    The reference is to Declan Kiberd, Inventing Ireland: The Literature of the Modern Nation, Jonathan Cape, London, 1995.Google Scholar

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© Peadar Kirby 2010

Authors and Affiliations

  • Peadar Kirby
    • 1
  1. 1.University of LimerickIreland

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