A perfect storm
Crisis, capitalism and democracy
in Ireland under austerity
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This chapter seeks to explore how the political economy of Ireland's crisis has been reduced to the neoliberal ideological tropes of 'choice' and 'compliance'. It argues that to be properly understood it needs to be situated in the international, and specifically European, crisis of capitalism. This crisis is not only economic but also ideological in its dimensions, unleashing an intensive ideological assault designed to rid the political system of the last vestiges of democratic accountability. Mainstream political parties have seen a collapse in both active membership and passive political support, producing a crisis of standing, legitimacy and effectiveness within modern democracy. The chapter concludes by arguing that one of the major challenges of developing a radical left critique has to be to offer not simply a critique of the ideological assumptions of capitalism, but must include some alternative to the system.

Ireland under austerity

Neoliberal crisis, neoliberal solutions

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