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5.2 ECONOMICS AND BUSINESS, Cultural and economic geography, 5.8 MEDIA AND COMMUNICATIONS, 5.9 OTHER SOCIAL SCIENCES
The last ten years has seen Ireland, now dubbed the ‘Celtic tiger’ of Europe, achieve an economic about-turn. A key element of this growth has been new technology. Irish policy makers have focused increasingly on a growth strategy led by the information and communications technologies (ICTs) as a means to leapfrog historic and geographic limitations of the earlier industrial revolution and ‘jump-start’ Irish economic growth. Taking advantage of rapid social structural changes, relatively high public investment/endorsement of education and advanced skills, and a ‘natural’ reservoir of creativity, that strategy has sought to market Ireland as an ‘information gateway’, an English-speaking beachhead between the USA and Europe, with an emphasis on information distribution and cultural content products. This paper outlines policy-making focused on the role of cultural production/industries as an ‘integral component of the increasingly global network of inter-connected leisure and entertainment industries’ in the capital (re)generation of Ireland. Part i looks at the various steps taken by policy-makers to both recognise and then target and develop arts and cultural activity as an economic sector. Part ii goes behind the hyperbole asks two questions: do the cultural industries exist as an identifiable cluster, and can national economic/capital (re)generation be built around cultural production?
Hazelkorn, E.: The Dynamics of Cultural Production in Ireland: Economic Strategy, Digital Technology and Public Policy Making. Trends and Strategies in the Arts and Cultural Industries edited by K. Ernst, M. Halbertsma, S. Janssen and T. Ijdens. Rotterdam: Barjesteh & Co’s. 2001.