Europeanisation and new patterns of governance in Ireland

Europeanisation and new patterns of governance in Ireland

Nicholas Rees
Bríd Quinn
Bernadette Connaughton
Copyright Date: 2009
Pages: 256
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  • Book Info
    Europeanisation and new patterns of governance in Ireland
    Book Description:

    To what extent did Europeanisation contribute to Ireland’s transformation from ‘poor relation’ to ‘peer idol’? This book examines how Europeanisation affected Irish policy-making and implementation and how Ireland maximised the policy opportunities arising from membership of the EU while preserving embedded patterns of political behaviour. It focuses on the complex interplay of European, domestic and global factors as the explanation for the changing character of the ‘Celtic Tiger’. The authors demonstrate that, although Europeanisation spurred significant institutional and policy change, domestic forces filtered those consequences while global factors induced further adaptation. By identifying and assessing the adaptational pressures in a range of policy areas the book establishes that, in tandem with the European dimension, domestic features and global developments were key determinants of change and harbingers of new patterns of governance.

    eISBN: 978-1-84779-336-2
    Subjects: Political Science

Table of Contents

  1. Front Matter
    (pp. i-iv)
  2. Table of Contents
    (pp. v-v)
  3. List of figures and tables
    (pp. vi-vii)
  4. List of contributors
    (pp. viii-viii)
  5. Preface and acknowledgements
    (pp. ix-x)
    Nicholas Rees, Bríd Quinn and Bernadette Connaughton
  6. List of abbreviations and Irish terms
    (pp. xi-xiv)
  7. 1 Ireland and the European Union
    (pp. 1-11)
    Nicholas Rees, Bríd Quinn and Bernadette Connaughton

    Politicians, diplomats and policy-makers consider Ireland’s economic and political development as an unparalleled success story with the state long ranked as one of the top performing economies in Europe. It was only in late 2007 that Ireland’s economic growth faltered in the light of escalating oil prices, a downturn in global markets and a drop-off in domestic consumption and production. However, its performance over almost two decades has been remarkable even when measured against large economies such as Germany and France. It has also outstripped the performance of other cohesion states, such as Portugal, Spain and Greece and is considered...

  8. 2 Europeanisation: a catalyst for change
    (pp. 12-33)
    Nicholas Rees and Bernadette Connaughton

    Europeanisation has emerged as a relatively new yet significant area in the study of European integration. It represents a shift in conceptualising developments in the European Union and presents opportunities for structuring and analysing the impact of the EU on the polity, politics and policies of member states. Europeanisation is critical to our understanding of transformations of the national system, improvements in institutional capacity and success or failure in the implementation of EU public policy (Paraskevopoulos, 2006). It shifts the methods by which we study the EU and its member states towards a focus on policy processes and outcomes –...

  9. 3 Mediating forces and the domestic polity
    (pp. 34-52)
    Bríd Quinn and Bernadette Connaughton

    The effects of Europeanisation have been filtered by Ireland’s complex history, distinctive political and social culture, nationalistic penchants and strongly centralised political-administrative structures. This chapter outlines the key elements of Irish political and social culture and analyses the way in which these factors have moderated the Europeanisation process. It looks at the underpinnings of Irish society, considering the role of culture, values and attitudes in determining the degree to which Europeanisation impacts on Ireland.

    Nationalism, the focus of this chapter’s first section, has in various guises continued to be a defining characteristic at both the personal and state levels and...

  10. 4 Political institutions and administrative adaptation
    (pp. 53-79)
    Bernadette Connaughton

    Ireland is regarded as one of the most centralised liberal democracies (Lijphart, 1999). Its unitary political system is characterised by a strong central executive with subordinate local authorities answerable to and financially dependent on the centre. In 1922 the new state absorbed rather than transformed the principal features of government and administration. The parliament, government and public administration were all consciously modelled on British institutions. The endurance of Westminster institutions was an asset since it brought stability and the benefit of experience to the newly independent state. Despite external and internal pressures for reform in the following decades, the institutional...

  11. 5 The Irish economy and Europe
    (pp. 80-102)
    Nicholas Rees

    This chapter considers how Europeanisation has impacted on Ireland’s economy and the implementation of economic policy. The case study examines economic developments by focusing on indicators of change, such as new policy directions and administrative adaptation, with a view to examining the purported reasons for change. The objective is to map the changes that have occurred by focusing particularly on the mediating structures and the discourse amongst the actors concerned, with view to understanding the stated reasons for change and whether they are attributed to Europeanisation, domestic factors or globalisation. The chapter begins by considering the pre-existing policies and polity...

  12. 6 Regional policy and politics
    (pp. 103-121)
    Bríd Quinn

    From its inception in the 1970s, the European Union’s regional policy has effected significant change in member states, while itself evolving from a limited policy instrument to a fully fledged policy in response to expanding EU membership and changing priorities (Featherstone and Radaelli, 2003; Bache, 1998). Such change has been asymmetric between and within states. Ireland serves as an example of a member state wherein EU regional policy has induced perceptible adaptation while the state’s experience also influenced the trajectory of EU regional policy. It is not surprising therefore, that a 2008 survey carried out by Gallup for Directorate General...

  13. 7 The politics of environmental policy
    (pp. 122-144)
    Bernadette Connaughton

    Ireland’s environmental policy is largely shaped by a generally low level of environmental awareness and the dominance of economic priorities on the national policy agenda. Yet Ireland’s environmental performance is regarded as relatively strong (EPA, 2005) and illustrates evidence of progress in terms of policy and institutional framework (OECD, 2000). In contrast to this are the increasing pressures to which Ireland’s physical environment is subjected. These include factors such as a weak decoupling of economic growth, population increase, urban sprawl and changing patterns in individual consumption and behaviour. These challenges are reflected in environmental problems such as climate change, waste...

  14. 8 Does the CAP fit? Agriculture policy in Ireland and the EU
    (pp. 145-166)
    Bríd Quinn

    Agriculture was the main economic imperative for Ireland’s application for EEC membership. It was expected that membership would help advance Irish agriculture and improve farm incomes. The dominance of agriculture in the debate on EEC membership is not surprising. Historically, agriculture framed Ireland’s development, dictating decisions from the settlement choices of the earliest tribes to the country’s late move towards industrialisation and the independent state’s policy priorities. Consequently, issues of ownership, apportionment and utilisation of land have had huge political, social and economic influence. These issues have been affected by Europeanisation, particularly the Common Agricultural Policy (CAP). Therefore, agricultural issues...

  15. 9 Ireland’s foreign relations
    (pp. 167-195)
    Nicholas Rees

    This chapter examines the impact of Europeanisation on the formation and development of Irish foreign policy. Ireland has traditionally been a small player on the international stage, but one that is viewed with having played a more significant role in international affairs than its size, resources and geostrategic location might suggest (Tonra, 2007; Kennedy and Skelly, 2000; Skelly, 1997; Keatinge, 1984; 1978). The state’s ability to formulate and conduct an independent foreign policy has been integrally linked with the formation of the state, Irish nationalism and the relationship with Britain. Under the leadership of Taoiseach Eamon de Valera, Ireland adopted...

  16. 10 Conclusions: institutional learning and adaptation to Europe
    (pp. 196-208)
    Nicholas Rees, Bríd Quinn and Bernadette Connaughton

    This study contributes to the literature on Europeanisation and its impact on patterns of governance through an examination of the Irish case. At the outset, the study drew on the definition of Europeanisation developed by Radaelli, namely, ‘the processes of (a) construction (b) diffusion, and (c) institutionalisation of formal and informal rules, procedures, policy paradigms, styles, “ways of doing things” and shared beliefs and norms which are first defined and consolidated in the making of EU decisions and then incorporated in the logic of domestic discourse, identities and political structures, and public policies’ (2003: 30). Europeanisation was interpreted as the...

  17. Bibliography
    (pp. 209-231)
  18. Index
    (pp. 232-250)