Ireland has undergone huge change in recent times. Its economy moved from 'basket case' to 'tiger', its quality of life ranked as the best in the world, and its society became more open and outward-looking under the pressures of globalization. Yet this state of affairs was given a severe shock by the global economic crisis; Ireland found itself in the eye of the storm, and has once more been forced to adapt socially, politically and economically. This concise and lively book gives a comprehensive account of today's Ireland. Written by an acknowledged expert, it gives a realistic picture of Ireland's changing fortunes and of Irish life in the twenty-first century. Each aspect of Ireland's politics, economy, society and culture is systematically unpacked and set in historical context. The text is enlivened throughout with photographs and with boxes on topics ranging from the pronunciation of Irish names to Ireland's international identity 'between Boston and Berlin'. Assuming no prior knowledge and combining clarity with rigor, Contemporary Ireland is the ideal introduction to this fascinating country.