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.
This important and original study edited by political scientist Niamh Hardiman, provides an outstanding analysis of the political, economics and governance crisis engulfing the Irish polity since 2008. In a set of carefully researched and intellectually engaged essays the volume's contributors offer both a distinct theoretical understanding of the Irish dimension of the European wide crisis and a major empirical account of how the crisis manifests in a range of policy areas including economic policy, health care delivery, regulation and the environment. Ireland stands as a major case study within the post 2008 systemic and fiscal transformation emerging across the EU polity. Irish Governance in Crisis is likely to stand as the most authoritative account of this development in Ireland for some time. All students and scholars of the fiscal crisis, and European and Irish politics will need to consult this Hardiman edited collection. -- Desmond King. The crisis in Ireland has become a key example of the failures of governance in many Western countries in the period following 2008. Much of that discussion has concentrated on economic issues but Niamh Hardiman's excellent book demonstrates just how extensive the governance crisis has been. The crisis may have begun with regulatory failures in the economy but it has now spread to many sectors of the public sector and has raised some fundamental questions about the State itself. This compilation not only raises questions about governance in Ireland, it also helps us to understand governance more generally. -- B. Guy Peters. The rise and fall of the Irish political economy is one of the most intriguing and puzzling stories in the last several decades. While many focus on the wild ride that Irish and international capitalists took the economy, Niamh Hardiman and her colleagues instead focus on the state. What was it about the Irish state that enabled Ireland to swing so wildly and so quickly? Each substantive chapter examines a different policy area and thereby gives insight into the broader patterns of governance in this country. Eschewing the temptation to simply argue that Irish policy makers simply fooled themselves, or were fooled by others, Hardiman demonstrates that to understand Ireland's policy choices we have to understand its rather ironic combination of elite autonomy and clientelist politics. This fine book will be of interest to anyone interested in the rise and fall of neo-liberal capitalism as well as those who wish to better understand this particularly interesting case. -- Sven Steinmo. ...the volume provides the reader with a broad and deep understanding of the current state of policymaking in Ireland, and its historical development. -- Diarmuid Torney. Irish Times ...this volume represents an important addition to our existing knowledge of Irish politics and policymaking, and serves to illustrate the valuable contribution of social-science research. -- Diarmuid Torney. Irish Times 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. -- Mary P. Murphy.
Number Of Pages: 256
Published: 15th June 2012
Publisher: Manchester University Press
Dimensions (cm): 23.4 x 15.6 x 2.5
Weight (kg): 0.517