Europeanisation and new patterns of governance in Ireland

To what extent did Europeanisation contribute to Ireland's transformation from ‘poor relation’ to being admired and emulated? 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. The book focuses on the complex interplay of European, domestic and global factors as the explanation for the changing character of the ‘Celtic Tiger’. It contests and complements previous accounts of the Europeanisation effect on Ireland's institutions and policies, providing an analysis in view of Ireland's rejection of the Lisbon Treaty in June 2008. The book demonstrates 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. In challenging the usually unquestioning acceptance of the EU's dominant role in Ireland's transformation, the study adds conceptually and empirically to the literature on Europeanisation. The review of change in discourse, policy paradigms and procedures is complemented by an exploration of change in the economy, regional development, agricultural and rural policy, environmental policy and foreign policy. This analysis provides clear evidence of the uneven impact of Europeanisation, and the salience of domestic and global mediating factors.

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