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Economy and the Pluralism of Modern Ireland

Posted: 29 Mar 2010  

Bobbi Adams

affiliation not provided to SSRN


This paper examines the changing dynamics of pluralism and its relationship to the economy of twenty-first century Ireland. The popular image of Ireland is one of an ethnically and culturally homogenous society. While this popular image of Ireland has always been somewhat suspect, Ireland in the wake of its booming economy of the last twenty years is experiencing an unprecedented level of integration with Europe and the outside world; this has lead to a greater diversity and immigration into Ireland from Africa, Eastern Europe and elsewhere. Ireland needs to define the place of the increasing number of minorities and minority groups. It is not certain whether Ireland is destined to become a pluralistic society or remain a nation state with a hegemonic religion and culture. In the last few years there has been a backlash against the immigrants and their integration even resulting in constitutional amendment limiting citizenship rights. This paper will examine whether in part this backlash is economic or cultural. In examining pluralism and Irish political strategies to deal with itself as a diverse society this paper argues, moreover, that Ireland will transform itself into a more modern pluralistic version of the nation state. Like some of its European counterparts, Ireland will seek to maintain its national identity, while creating space for pluralistic expression.

Suggested Citation

Adams, Bobbi, Economy and the Pluralism of Modern Ireland. Western Political Science Association 2010 Annual Meeting Paper . Available at SSRN:

Bobbi Adams (Contact Author)

affiliation not provided to SSRN ( email )

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