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This book offers a fresh perspective on the spectacular rise and fall of the so-called 'Celtic Tiger' economy. By adopting the perspective of economic development as business development, the book articulates an original narrative of Ireland as a micro-state with a unique reliance on foreign direct investment driven by low corporation tax rates. Its highly centralized government's pre-disposition to lobbying, which has yielded some notable successes and failures internationally, has coincided with undue influence from trades unions and sectoral interest groups that have periodically undermined growth and development. By uncovering the drivers of business competitiveness at the industry, regional and institutional levels, the book reveals a uniquely discerning account of the turbulent economic development path of Ireland since 1970. This highly innovative study from Eoin O'Leary provides a comprehensive, incisive and original account, which has relevance not only for Ireland and the EU, but more generally for the international economy in the midst of the financial crisis.