Thinking about Ireland’s Future, Then and Now


What would we like Ireland to look like in 2030? In what kind of society do we want to live, on both sides of the border? This seems like a simple question. 2030 is just seven years away, so surely politicians, intellectuals, journalists, and the general public are busy imagining our future. But this is not really happening. Initiatives like Project Ireland 2040, a national development plan for the Republic of Ireland, have in the past several years been overshadowed by emergencies that have demanded all our attention: climate change, Brexit, the Covid pandemic, and now the war in Ukraine. These emergencies have forced us to into a reactive, crisis-response mode. There is a sense that events are unfolding so fast that we can hardly keep up. This raises the question: Are we still shaping our future or are we merely adapting, breathlessly, to the rapid changes that characterize life in the twenty-first century?



Philipp W. Rosemann