This is the first comprehensive survey of the Irish state, and draws on a range of theoretical approaches to analyse its origins, its evolution, its nature and its role in Ireland's recent economic success. The book begins by outlining the fragmentary way in which the Irish state has been treated to date in the social sciences. Subsequent chapters by distinguished contributors then go on to examine the history of the Irish state from 1922 to 1973, the developmental nature of the Irish state since the 1980s, the Irish state as a partnership state, the gendered nature of the state, the changing nature of the state's autonomy and capacity since independence, whether the Irish state can be described as a competition state, and the activities and policies of the Irish state as a welfare state. The editors examine the lessons learnt from these analyses before detailing a challenging agenda for further research.The book will be of major interest to students of Irish politics and of Ireland's recent economic and social development. Given Ireland's status as a model of success in this globalised era, the book will interest scholars of globalisation and comparative politics, and makes a significant contribution to analyses of the role of the state in this context. -- .