chapter  2
22 Pages

Irish foreign policy

After decades of disillusionment, the people and government of the Republ ic of Ireland (hereafter, "Ireland') have begun to reassess their role and identity in the international system. The Irish state is no longer exclusively defined through its position (mental and geographic) as an 'island behind an island'. While a shared and complex history tnay always nlake relationships with Ireland's nearest neighbour problematic, the pursuit of, or flight from, British nonns is a decreasing feature of debates in public policy. In its stead is a greater self~confidence, an attempt to reach out to other European and SlTIaU state models and a general ambition to orient the state and its society outwards towards all azimuths rather than eastwards.