This book analyses and critiques Irish society in the early twenty-first century, but seeks to do so by consciously avoiding myth-making and generalisation. It invites readers to revisit and rethink twelve events that span the years 2001-2009. It shows that all of these events reveal crucial intersections of structural power and resistance in contemporary Ireland. The book shows how the events carry traces of both social structure and human agency. They were shaped by overarching political, economic, social and cultural currents; but they were also responses to proposals, protests, advocacy and demands that have been articulated by a broad spectrum of social actors. The book also explores how power works ideologically and through policy instruments to support dominant models of capital accumulation. Identities are constructed at the interface between public policy, collective commitments and individual biographies. They mobilise both power and resistance, as they move beyond the realm of the personal and become focal points for debates about rights, responsibilities, resources and even the borders of the nation itself. The book suggests that conceptions of Irish identity and citizenship are being redrawn in more positive ways. Family is the cornerstone, the natural, primary and fundamental unit group of society. Marriage is the religious, cultural, commercial, and political institution that defines and embeds its values. The book presents a 2004 High Court case taken by Katherine Zappone and Ann Louise Gilligan for legal recognition of their marriage as a same-sex couple, which had taken place a year previously in Canada.
This book explores the issue of a collective representation of Ireland after the sudden death of the 'Celtic Tiger' and introduces the aesthetic idea that runs throughout. The focus is on the idea articulated by W. B. Yeats in his famous poem 'The Second Coming'. The book also explores the symbolic order and imaginative structure, the meanings and values associated with house and home, the haunted houses of Ireland's 'ghost estates' and the fiscal and moral foundations of the collective household. It examines the sophisticated financial instruments derived from mortgage-backed securities that were a lynchpin of global financialization and the epicentre of the crash, the question of the fiscal and moral foundations of the collective household of Europe. A story about fundamental values and principles of fairness and justice is discussed, in particular, the contemporary conflict that reiterates the ancient Irish mythic story of the Tain. The book suggests correspondences between Plato's Republic and the Irish republic in the deformations and devolution of democracy into tyranny. It traces a red thread from the predicament of the ancient Athenians to contemporary Ireland in terms of the need to govern pleonexia, appetites without limits. The political and economic policies and practices of Irish development, the designation of Ireland's 'tax free zones', are also discussed. Finally, the ideal type of person who has been emerging under the auspices of the neoliberal revolution is imagined.
The last several decades have witnessed major changes in gender roles and family patterns, as well as a falling birth rate in Ireland and the rest of Europe. This book presents the results of the first major study to examine people’s attitudes to family formation and childbearing in Ireland; it also explores the effect of new family forms on well-being. The research was based on an in-depth qualitative study of 48 men and women in the childbearing age group, followed by a survey of a representative sample of 1,404 men and women. The study explored whether changes in gender roles impacted on family formation. The results showed that while women’s progress in the workplace has been welcomed, there is also a perceived threat of women’s advancement, as well as some ambiguity in the male role. Attitudes towards marriage and cohabitation are positive and cohabitation is seen as a step in the progression towards marriage. Attitudes towards being single are also positive, though in some cases ambivalent, but single women, particularly older and better educated ones are finding it more difficult to find a partner and this is impeding family formation on their part. Differences in women’s and men’s biological clocks were found to be important in relation to this, as were the lack of affordable childcare and flexible working arrangements. The findings were discussed in light of the demographic trends of later marriage, decreasing fertility and the increasing proportion of single people in the population.
This book provides a definitive examination of higher education: exploring its nature and purpose, and locating it in the context of the state and the market. It presents new research on an elite group: senior managers in universities. They are relatively powerful in relation to their students and staff but relatively powerless in relation to wider neo-liberal forces. Written in a clear, student friendly, accessible style, and drawing on policy analysis and interviews with those at the top three levels of university management, it provides an in-depth analysis of the structures, cultures and practices at that level and locates these in a cross national context. Through the eyes of these senior managers, we are able to understand this gendered world, where four fifths of those in these positions are men, and to consider the implications of this in a world where diversity is crucial for innovation. Despite the managerialist rhetoric of accountability, we see structures where access to power is effectively through the Presidents’ ‘blessing,’ very much as in a medieval court. We see a culture that is less than comfortable with the presence of women, and which in its narratives, stereotypes and interactions exemplifies a rather 19th century view of women. Sites and agents of change are identified: both in the universities and in the wider international policy context. Essential for undergraduate and postgraduate students and their lecturers in education, management, sociology policy and gender studies, it will challenge them to critically reflect on management and on higher education.
This book explores the relationship between public administration and social justice in Ireland. It argues that public administration, at a variety of levels, is challenged to consider its unique and potentially far reaching role in designing and delivering social justice outcomes. Locating this discussion within recent social and economic events in Ireland, it draws on a variety of historical and contemporary sources to stimulate reflection on social justice and its relationship with public administration and public policy. Building on this, the book explores some of the recent policy and practice of public administration institutions, presenting the views of those within the administrative system as well as those who closely engage with it on issues of justice, poverty and social inclusion. From this it concludes that while some isolated examples of good practice exist, there is little evidence to indicate that the public administration system, now or in the past, sees social justice as one of its central responsibilities. This book is original in focusing on the role of the administrative system as a social justice actor in its own right, with its own dispositions and value systems. In taking this approach the book establishes a conceptual and practical justification for public administration to be proactive in pursuing social justice outcomes and presents a series of conclusions pointing towards ways in which a more active, justice oriented, public administration could be fostered.
This book brings together research relating to the economics of disability in Ireland. It addresses key questions of relevance to the economic circumstances of people with disabilities, with emphasis on the relationship between disability and social inclusion, poverty, the labour market, living standards and public policy. Importantly, it also incorporates a life cycle perspective on disability, considering issues of specific relevance to children, working-age adults and older people with disabilities. There is also a focus on issues relating to resource allocation and to wider society, while the book also presents a number of contributions focusing on mental health. The book examines the economics of mental health services and presents a broad overview of key economic issues facing the provision of such services in Ireland. A number of issues are addressed, including the nature and extent of mental illnesses in Ireland, the resources spent on care provided to people with mental illnesses, as well as the economic cost of mental illness in Ireland. The book also examines the socioeconomic determinants of mental stress. It focuses on socioeconomic factors which are most closely associated with mental stress, and considers the socioeconomic determinants of subjective well-being.
This book explores the unique and problematic entity known as the Community and Voluntary Pillar (CVP) in the institutional context of Irish social partnership and the changing political and economic environment over time. It reviews existing theoretical accounts of Irish social pacts with reference to the role or significance of the CVP, and explores new theoretical perspectives that might contribute to a better understanding of the CVP. The book then details empirical investigation of the origins and facets of the CVP through the study of the most pivotal associations in it. It shows that the National Women's Council of Ireland (NWCI) refused to be incorporated and maintained a great degree of independence over the course of its engagement. The NWCI played a successful defensive role in Partnership 2000 (1996) in relation to threats to tax child benefit. Later, a more significant achievement of the NWCI was the early childcare supplement introduced in 2006, which stemmed from recommendations the NWCI had made as early as 1997. The book also considers the development of a distinct and original account of the dynamics of the CVP, termed 'asymmetric engagement'. It explains how small organisations have operated in social partnership, amid the warp and weft of political and economic cycles and shifts in the demos.
This is the first definitive examination of the practice of corporate regulation and enforcement from the foundation of the Irish State to the present day. It analyses the transition in Ireland from a sanctioning, ‘command and control’ model of corporate enforcement to the compliance-orientated, responsive regulatory model. It is also unique in locating this shift in its broader sociological and jurisprudential context. It provides a definitive account of a State at a critical stage of its economic development, having moved from an agrarian and protected society to a free-market globalised economy which is trying to cope with the negative aspects of increased corporate activity, having experienced an economic boom and depression in a remarkably condensed period of time. Traditionally, corporate wrongdoing was often criminalised using conventional criminal justice methods and the ordinary police were often charged with the responsibility of enforcing the law. Since the 1990s, however, the conventional crime monopoly on corporate deviancy has become fragmented because a variety of specialist, interdisciplinary agencies with enhanced powers now address corporate wrongdoing. The exclusive dominance of conventional crime methods has also faded because corporate wrongdoing is now specifically addressed by a responsive enforcement architecture, taking compliance orientated and sanctioning approaches, using both civil and criminal enforcement mechanisms, where criminal law is now the sanction of last resort.
Migration to and from Ireland is often the subject of definitive claims. During the 1980s, migration from Ireland was most commonly described as a brain drain. Despite the constant flows and counterflows, academic studies tend to focus on just one direction of movement, reflecting dominant concerns at particular points in time. The 1950s and the 1980s are characterized as decades of emigration, the Celtic Tiger era as a period of immigration, and the current recession is manifest as a return to mass emigration. This book addresses the three key themes from a variety of spatial, temporal and theoretical perspectives. The theme of networks is addressed. Transnational loyalist networks acted both to facilitate the speaking tours of loyalist speakers and to re-translate the political meanings and messages being communicated by the speakers. The Irish Catholic Church and specifically its re-working of its traditional pastoral, lobbying and development role within Irish emigrant communities, is discussed. By highlighting three key areas such as motives, institutions and strategies, and support infrastructures, the book suggests that the Irish experience offers a nuanced understanding of the different forms of networks that exist between a state and its diaspora, and shows the importance of working to support the self-organization of the diaspora. Perceptions of belonging both pre- and postmigration encouraged ethnographic research in six Direct Provision asylum accommodation centres across Ireland. Finally, the book provides insights into the intersections between 'migrancy' and other social categories including gender, nationality and class/position in the labour hierarchy.