Setting the scene
The politics of Europe in the UK and Ireland
in Managing Europe from home
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Despite the position of the UK and Ireland on the geographical periphery of the continent, Europe has never been far from the heart of domestic politics in either country. This chapter analyses and explains the divergent developmental trajectories of UK and Irish European diplomacy in the post-war period from a comparative perspective. It first reflects on the relative importance of five aggregate variables which have shaped and help to explain the nature of European Union (EU) relations prior to 1997: namely geopolitics, economics, institutions, party politics, and public opinion. It then presents a detailed assessment of EU policy under the administrations of Tony Blair and Bertie Ahern — their aims and objectives, principal accomplishments and perceived failures, and the extent to which their records represent a significant break from their predecessors.

Managing Europe from home

The changing face of European policy making under Blair and Ahern


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