Monday, October 11, 2010

Raymond Crotty Lecture

People's Movement

Public Lecture

Ireland in Crisis: Radical Alternatives

Professor Lars Mjoset, University of Oslo

Saturday, 16 October 2010, 3.00pm

The Pearse Centre, 27 Pearse Street, Dublin 2

Professor Lars Mjøset of the University of Oslo will deliver the Inaugural Raymond Crotty Lecture, 'Ireland in crisis, radical alternatives' in Butler House, 16 Patrick Street, Kilkenny on Friday 15th October at 7.30 p.m.
He will also speak the next day 16th October in the Ireland Institute, 27 Pearse Street, Dublin at 3.00 p.m..
Both events are organised by the National Committee of the People's Movement.
For further information contact Kevin McCorry - 086 3150301

Notes for Editors on Raymond Crotty and Lars Mjøset

Raymond Crotty. Farmer, economist, development theorist, historian, and political activist, Raymond Crotty (1925-94) was one of the most original thinkers to come out of modern Ireland.

He made history with his successful constitutional action in 1987 against the Government's attempt to ratify the EU's Single European Act Treaty by simple Dail majority vote instead of by popular referendum.

Holding strong radical views, his advocacy of a land tax as a means of putting pressure on Irish landowners to use their land more productively pitted him against powerful vested interests.

In 1974 he wrote, “Recent developments highlight the remarkable contrast which has existed for almost a century-and-a-half between the fortunes of the Irish banking system and of Irish society. Few banking systems in the world have enjoyed such protracted, unbroken prosperity as the Irish banking system. By contrast no country in the world can match Ireland’s record of political and social decay-with its population less than half what it was 130 years ago, and its workforce 30% less than it was when the State was founded fifty years ago. The Irish banking system has grown rich and powerful as Irish society has shrunk and decayed” (Crotty, The cattle crisis and the small farmer 1974)

Irish Agricultural Production (1962), his first book, was described by Professor Joe Lee as 'a monument of the Irish intellect.'.

His posthumously published book, When Histories Collide: the Development and Impact of Individualistic Capitalism explored the role of Indo-European pastoralist peoples in the creation of the modern world.

All through his active life, he highlighted the fact that his study of the Third World had brought home to him that Ireland's traditional economic problem of high unemployment and emigration had analogies in most former colonies of the European powers.

Professor Lars Mjøset, who will deliver the Inaugural Raymond Crotty Lecture is Professor of Sociology at The Department of Sociology and Human Geography, University of Oslo, Norway.

He is no stranger to Ireland and both knew and respected Raymond Crotty and his work.

His 1992 Report for the National Economic and Social Council, The Irish Economy in a Comparative Institutional Perspective, compared Ireland’s socio-economic development with that of five European similar sized contrast countries.

The Report showed that Ireland’s model of development was not only different from that of five contrast countries but the country had the dubious distinction of being one of the few countries in the world whose population was in decline.

Population decline through emigration, together with a weak national system of innovation form what the Report calls the “vicious circle” of Irish development.

Emigration is on the rise again.

Ignored during the so-called Celtic Tiger, the lack of an Irish culture of entrepreneurship continues to be very evident and the historic failure to develop indigenous industry capable of providing work for most of the labour force, is central to the obvious shortcomings of the Irish model of socio-economic development.

Professor Mjøset was born in 1954. He works mainly on comparisons of economic development and economic policies in small and large Western European countries.

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