The Politics of High Tech Growth

Developmental Network States in the Global Economy

The Politics of High Tech Growth

Driven by high tech foreign investment, the "Celtic Tiger" economy in the Republic of Ireland was one of the economic "success stories" of the 1990s. This book argues, however, that the state played a central role in developing the Celtic Tiger economy as well, and particularly, the increasingly important Irish high tech industry. Typically seen as an example of successful market-led globalization, high tech growth in Ireland has actually been promoted by a new form of state intervention in the economy--one that fosters local networks of support through decentralized state institutions drawing on extensive local, national and global resources.


“Ó'Riain makes a very important contribution to comparative studies of development by arguing that the same model of network development can be inspired by very different political ideologies. He focuses the attention on neo-liberalism, conservatism (i.e. paternalism) and social democracy. Each of these three ideologies goes hand in hand with a different set of political bargains over socioeconomic inequality, risk, security, governance. This is in essence the powerful message that this book offers to students of economic development: politics does not stand in the way of economic development; rather, different political patterns shape the way a country achieves economic well-being and have distinct consequences for the distribution of new riches across the population.” --Social Forces, Mauro F. Guillen, University of Pennsylvania

'It would be difficult to exaggerate the importance of this book. It is in my view the most insightful account of the dynamics shaping modern Ireland since Professor Joe Lee's classic Ireland: Politics and Society 1912–1985.' Peadar Kirby, Village


Co-Winner of the American Conference for Irish Studies James S. Donnelly Sr. Prize for Best Book in History and Social Sciences 2004