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Irish Governance in Crisis by Niamh Hardiman


Irish Governance in Crisis by Niamh Hardiman

Ireland's international reputation changed rapidly from global success story to European problem-case. How did this happen? What are the implications for our view of good governance? This book argues that there is a crisis in the way the Irish state is structured and in the manner in which it relates to the main organised interests in the society. Through a set of linked policy studies, it shows how sectional benefits can be prioritised where public interest considerations are weakly articulated and debated. Policy choices may entail unintended perverse consequences that, once embedded, can be difficult to alter. The book traces these weaknesses to the dominance of parties, the permeability of the political system to sectional interests, and the weakness of democratic accountability. A powerful concluding chapter sets out an agenda for future research on institutional design and political reform. This book sets out a compelling argument that institutional design matters, especially in an increasingly globalised and interdependent world. -- .


Given the Irish experience of recent years, the chapters on regulatory governance (Westrup) and the governance of the economy (Dellepiane and Hardiman) draw the reader's immediate attention.

... the volume provides the reader with a broad and deep understanding of the current state of policy-making in Ireland, and its historical development.

... this volume represents an important addition to our existing knowledge of Irish politics and policy-making, and serves to illustrate the valuable contribution of social science research.

This book offers a timely, insightful and important contribution to this agenda by exploring a number of political issues thematically through a historical institutionalist approach than analyses how state power is exercised in Irish governance.

...Hardiman presents a persuasive argument...

The authors sensibly caution on the effectiveness of reform initiatives if they merely tackle the symptoms of the crisis rather than its causes

The book includes very useful introduction and conclusion chapters by the editor and nine other chapters from highly respected authors in a diverse variety of disciplines and policy areas. This makes for a robust and meaningful publication and a significant contribution to the debate about the urgent need to reform Irish governance. -- .

About the Author

Niamh Hardiman teaches in the School of Politics and International Relations at University College Dublin. -- .

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Book Info

Publication date

1st December 2011


Niamh Hardiman

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Manchester University Press


256 pages


Constitution: government & the state



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