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Taiwan Research Programme
London School of Economics and Political Science
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Professor Stephan Feuchtwang

Dr Fang-Long Shih

Explaining Developmental Immigration in the Republic of Ireland: some comparisons with Taiwan

With Professor Bryan Fanning (School of Applied Social Science, University College Dublin)

Series:  Regional Comparison: Taiwan and Ireland in Comparative Perspective

Date: Thursday 11 November 2010, 6pm-8pm

Venue: Room S75,St Clement's Building, London School of Economics (LSE)

Chair: Reverend John Scott (LSE and University of Birmingham)


This paper draws on some comparisons with Taiwan in accounting for immigration policies in 'Celtic Tiger' era Ireland. Both the Republic of Ireland and Taiwan have followed distinct developmental nation-building projects of economic development since the 1950s. Both late-developing countries have since transformed from predominantly agricultural societies to ones characterised by the rapid expansion of human capital and high levels of recent immigration. On the other hand, during the second half of the twentieth century Ireland experienced large-scale emigration, mostly to the United Kingdom whereas Taiwan experienced large-scale immigration from mainland China. The main focus of the paper is upon explaining the influence of Irish developmental goals and choices upon recent immigration policy. Irish choices are contextualised by reference to similarities and differences with Taiwan. This approach highlights the role of external determinants, for example EU membership in the Irish case compared to the relative political isolation of Taiwan from neighbouring states. It also highlights the role of national ideological and political influences on economic goals, responses to globalisation and immigration policies.

About the Speaker

Professor Bryan Fanning is a Professor in the School of Applied Social Studies at University College Dublin. He is a graduate of the University of Limerick and obtained his doctorate from Birbeck College University of London. His research interests include intellectual history, immigration and the Irish welfare economy. He is the author of Racism and Social Change in the Republic of Ireland (Manchester University Press, 2002), Evil God, The Greater Good and Rights: the philosophical origins of social problems (New York: Edwin Mellon, 2007), The Quest for Modern Ireland: the battle of ideas 1912-1986 (Irish Academic Press, 2008) and New Guests of the Irish Nation (Irish Academic Press, 2009). He is co-editor of Care and Social Change in the Irish Welfare Economy (UCD Press, 2006), Theorising Irish Social Policy (UCD Press, 2004) and Ireland Develops: administration and social policy 1953-2003 (Institute of Public Administration, 2003). He is editor of Immigration and Social Change in the Republic of Ireland (Manchester University Press, 2007). His recent research has included a study of  the responsiveness of Irish political parties to immigrants (funded by the IRHCSS) and a study of best international practice in responding to the health needs of immigrants and ethnic minorities (funded by the Health Services Executive).  During 2003 and 2004 he undertook research on behalf of the African Solidarity Centre on responsiveness by political parties to immigrants and ethnic minorities. The research project won the group multicultural award at the 2004 Metro Eireann/RTE Media and Multicultural Awards (MAMA) for its work in facilitating the participation of ethnic minorities in Irish socio-political life. He has recently been awarded funding by the IRCHSS for a two year study of integration and social change in the Republic of Ireland. He is co-editor of Translocations: Irish race, migrationand Social Transformation Review: