Regulation theory/Global Fordism and Peripheral Fordism: the case of Ireland

Rushe, Kenneth M. (2003) Regulation theory/Global Fordism and Peripheral Fordism: the case of Ireland. Doctoral thesis, London Guildhall University.


The general aim of the thesis is concerned with the development of industrialisation in the Irish Republic from the opening up of the economy in the late-1950s to the present. 1982 has been chosen as a watershed as it was then that the Irish government commissioned the Telesis Consultancy Group to do an in-depth analysis of Irish industrial policy. Using Telesis' findings as a reference point, subsequent policy measures have been examined to ascertain whether the Irish state has been successful in creating an industrial base capable of sustained indigenous industrial growth. The focus of the study therefore, will be on the development of indigenous industry but will also have to include an analysis of the continuing role of direct foreign investment in the Irish economy.

The specific aim of the thesis is to ascertain the degree to which the theories of Global Fordism/Regulation in general and Peripheral Fordism in particular provide an adequate framework for an evaluation of the development of industrialisation in Ireland in that period. If they do provide an adequate framework, then to what extent do they do so? Do they provide an all-embracing or a partial explanation of it? These questions will be considered in the light of different views of industrialisation in the periphery particularly Amsden's model of late-industrialisation. An examination of the historical background to some of the theories that have inspired Amsden's model will also be presented. But to begin to answer these questions it will be necessary to look at the relative development of Irish Industrialisation.

Therefore, after the theoretical areas have been addressed the study will continue with an analysis of the manufacturing sector and as to how it relates to the trajectory of policy measures subsequent to Telesis. This research of secondary material will be used in conjunction with the empirical research in an attempt to validate the survey findings on which the empirical research is based.

Ultimately, the objective will be to produce an evaluation of the state of manufacturing in Ireland and which will provide a constructive evaluation of the relevance of the two main contrasting theories.

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