An emerging consensus rates Ireland’s austerity strategy a success. Any consideration of the state of Ireland today must begin by calling this narrative into question. Many severe weaknesses remain. Most importantly, given the length and depth of the crisis, the country will need to achieve sustained growth if the economy is to return to precrisis levels. One premise of the current optimism is that what we are witnessing is the recovery from an ordinary recession. This, however, seriously misunderstands the nature of the crisis. The dynamic development of global neoliberalism and its subsequent crisis must be understood at multiple spatial scales, including the global and the European. Our own particular Irish crisis cannot be discussed in isolation from these larger scales. The Celtic Tiger in its prime was the Irish version of global neoliberalism, while the Irish crisis is a particular national expression of the still unresolved Great Recession.

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