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Theories and concepts

Implementation, Europeanisation and multi-level governance

Bernadette Connaughton

Chapter 2 presents the key theories and concepts addressed in the book. At the centre of the theoretical framework is implementation theory. The chapter synthesises theories of implementation which have sought to conceptualise the way in which law and policy are put into action. There are two main approaches – the ‘top–down’ school and the ‘bottom–up’ school of policy implementation. The second theoretical dimension is Europeanisation which is also illustrative of ‘top–down’ and ‘bottom–up’ approaches. Interpretations of Europeanisation, as predominantly about governance and conceptualisations of Europeanisation as institutionalism inform the scholarship on the implementation of EU legislation and its impact on the polity, policies and politics of the member states. The third discussion addresses the concept of multi-level governance which influences EU policy implementation. Multi-level governance serves as a framework to link our understanding of implementation theory and Europeanisation, which encompass the various levels of governance – European, national, regional and local. A model of analysis apprised by the theoretical discussion is presented in the penultimate section of this chapter. This model will inform the case studies discussed in the second part of the book.

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Science, revolution and progress

The constitutive terrain of anarchist eugenics

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Richard Cleminson

Chapter 2 sets the intellectual scene, both in anarchism and more generally, by providing a discussion of the characteristics of nineteenth-century ‘classical anarchism’ in terms of its reliance on understandings of nature, progress and science as the foundations upon which hereditarian and biological thought were built in the movement. This allows for an analysis of the reception of thought on doctrines such as Malthusianism, with its pessimistic account of the relations between population and resources, and discourses on human degeneration as a biological phenomenon. The chapter moves on to analyse the uptake of theories of evolutionary variation and inheritance within anarchism and to how these ideas dovetailed or conflicted with anarchism’s core values on the ability of human beings to forge their own environment and future. The chapter suggests that such debates, which were transnational within anarchism, provided the bedrock upon which interest in anarchist circles on processes of biological change, the relations between the environment and heredity, and, ultimately, eugenics were built.

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Richard Cleminson

This chapter presents the central problematic of the book: the apparent paradox of anarchism having provided a forum for the reception of eugenics. It discusses the main issues that such a contention gives rise to, sets out the methodology and theoretical framework to be followed and places anarchism and eugenics within the historiography of both movements from the late nineteenth century onwards.

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The implementation of environmental policy in Ireland

Lessons from translating EU directives into action

Bernadette Connaughton

EU environmental directives illustrate the challenges involved for the effective implementation of European Union policies. This book explores the response of Ireland’s political-administrative system to the implementation of environmental directives in the cases of waste management, water reform and biodiversity. Ireland represents the implementation challenges of a small EU member state with a weak background in environmental governance, and has struggled to adapt to the complexities of enforcing environmental rules. This has resulted in infringement proceedings and critical rulings against Ireland from the Court of Justice of the European Union. The book details how efforts to comply with these measures have been a source of significant pressure on Ireland’s institutional framework but have also prompted considerable learning and adaptation in environmental governance. Using a theoretical framework inspired by traditional implementation analysis and insights from the Europeanisation literature, the book traces the implementation process in three directives. The main conclusion of this study is that Ireland’s implementation performance in waste management, water reforms and nature conservation is influenced by the low issue salience of environmental policy and the need to overcome structural problems in the public administration system in order to give effect to EU legislation.

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Richard Cleminson

Chapter 4 continues the inquiry on eugenics into the years 1920–1940, covering the ‘hey-day’ of eugenic thought in the 1920s and 1930s both within anarchism and as part of the international eugenics movement itself. It analyses the political, scientific and religious influences that operated upon anarchism in its uptake of eugenics. In particular, questions such as the gendered nature of eugenic projects and their impact specifically on women’s bodies are assessed, as are discussions on the appropriateness or otherwise of the sterilization of the ‘unfit’, the development of ‘conscious maternity’ and the hygienic improvement of the social and health conditions of the poor. The reaction within anarchism to broader political and scientific debates on the acceptability and practicality of eugenics constitutes a thread that runs through this chapter.

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EU environmental policy and Ireland

Actors, institutional adaptation and implementation

Bernadette Connaughton

Chapter 4 presents an overview of the institutional architecture and discourse on environmental affairs in Ireland. It outlines the role of actors and institutions, such as the government departments, Environmental Protection Agency and local government, which participate (‘upstream’) with EU environmental policy making and those which grapple (‘downstream’) with implementation. In order to contextualise the explanations of how environmental policy has evolved several landmark events in its development are explored. Central to the discussion is how Ireland engages with EU environmental policy making and what conditions arise to facilitate or obstruct implementation. The chapter investigates the Irish system’s efforts to emphasise clear provisions for transposition and administrative interpretation, in conjunction with efforts to streamline, provide opportunities for consultation and resource the political-administrative system. The chapter unpacks key variables for understanding the implementation of EU environmental policy in Ireland – salience of the environmental issue, goodness of fit, political-administrative culture, weak autonomy of local government, behaviour of target groups and capacity.

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Bernadette Connaughton

The introductory chapter sets the context for the book and highlights the importance of effective implementation for the success of environmental policy in Ireland and the European Union. It explains that the institutional architecture of the EU denotes a separation between policy making and implementation activities whereby the European Commission proposes policy but Ireland and other member states are primarily responsible for ensuring its compliance. The chapter presents an overview of Ireland’s environmental performance which demonstrates how the EU has shaped the content of domestic environmental policy, but that its transposition, application and enforcement may be problematic and lead to cases being taken to the Court of Justice of the European Union. It discusses why the implementation stage is viewed as the ‘Achilles’ heel’ of the policy process and explores reasons for implementation deficits. By introducing Ireland’s environmental record and features of the complexity and challenges of EU environmental policy implementation, the chapter sets the scene for the theoretical and empirical discussions in later chapters.

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Richard Cleminson

In Chapter 3, the reception of early eugenic ideas within the anarchist movements of England, France, Portugal, Spain and Argentina over the years 1890–1920 is discussed against the backdrop of social and political developments within these different societies and within the eugenics movement itself. It discusses the ways in which early interest in neo-Malthusianism and the environmentally focused theory of Lamarckism configured the early anarchist reception of eugenic thought. The main emphasis in the chapter is placed on the vehicles by which eugenic thought arrived in anarchist movements and on the specific ways in which these ideas were digested in order to justify and articulate ‘anarchist eugenics’. The period covered in Chapter 3 ends with the First World War and its immediate aftermath. This was a fault line period in the reconfiguration of neo-Malthusian thought and its transformation, in the anarchist movement, particularly in France, into explicit support for eugenics. The chapter emphasises the varied and contested reception of eugenic thought within anarchism, in accordance with locality, mechanisms of international knowledge exchange, chronology and type of anarchism, whether syndicalist or individualist.

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Bernadette Connaughton

Chapter 3 focuses on the advancement of EU environmental policy, which is regarded as one of the most developed, regulatory dense areas of EU policy making, and a most likely case for Europeanisation. The chapter commences with a commentary on international and EU developments in environmental regulation which have, over time, become intertwined with an agenda of sustainable development and seven environmental action plans. An analysis of the features and principles of the EU environmental policy process is examined, including the shift from from a ‘command and control’ system to interventionist approaches increasingly linked with new forms of governance and instruments such as the ‘polluter pays principle’. These initiatives are linked to recognition of the extent of the implementation challenge. In order to provide a context for the empirical cases investigated in later chapters, the environmental, social and economic problems of three major environmental areas – waste management, water and biodiversity – are considered concurrently with an overview of EU policy responses.

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Bernadette Connaughton

Chapter 6 discusses the implementation of the water framework directive in Ireland. Water regulation has largely been driven by Europe and is a politicised issue, given the controversies over water contamination in both rural and urban areas and disagreement over whether the public should be charged for domestic water consumption. Central to the discussion is the Water Framework Directive (WFD) 2000/60/EC which is the most significant piece of water quality legislation to be developed by the EU. The chapter traces the political administrative system’s efforts to develop a coordinated approach to river basin management planning and the principles of the directive. It is emphasises that public participation is a strong focus of the directive but the public’s main attention is largely on water charge issues rather than conservation issues. Central to the discussion are the reforms of water services and the development of a new state agency, Irish Water, and a new regulatory infrastructure.