Browsing Politics and International Relations Research Collection by Type "Working Paper"
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- PublicationAdapting consociation to Northern Ireland(University College Dublin. Institute for British-Irish Studies, 2010-03-12)This paper looks at the concept of consociational government (or the principle of fully-fledged power sharing) as it has evolved in recent comparative studies of the politics of divided societies. It describes the stages through which this concept moved to the centre of the political agenda in Northern Ireland, based on contributions by policy makers, academics, journalists and others. It reviews the difficult history of efforts to translate this principle into practice, noting the challenge posed by strong political cultural resistance to any principle other than the majoritarian, Westminister model. It looks at the stages by which powerful objections to consociation—in particular from unionists—gave way to a more matter-of-fact acceptance of this principle, and considers the factors which lay behind this transition.
- PublicationAid curse with Chinese characteristics? Chinese development flows and economic reformsThe emergence of China as a major development partner requires a reassessment of traditional donorrecipient dynamics. In addition to using new rhetoric like ”South-South cooperation” or ”Win-Win”, China has also eschewed classifications and practices of the traditional donors of the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development’s (OECD) Donor Assistance Committee (DAC). Yet this ”new approach” and willful ignorance may not spare China from the same issues confronted by traditional donors. In this paper, we consider the extent to which Chinese development efforts disincentivize difficult economic reforms by providing recipient governments with a budgetry cushion. Using an instrumental variable approach with panel data covering 117 countries during the 2000-2014 period, we find that the presence of Chinese development flows, particularly those over which recipients have a high degree of discretion, inhibit broader economic reform. These findings are robust to a number of alternative specifications, data, instruments and approaches and are suggestive of an institutional aid curse ”with Chinese characteristics” as insidious as that which has plagued some traditional donor-recipient relationships.
- PublicationAusterity in the European periphery: the Irish experienceIreland has come to be seen as an exemplary case of the successful practice of austerity, both economically and politically. But these inferences would be misleading. The real story about fiscal adjustments in Ireland is more problematic, the reasons for recovery are more complex, and the political consequences are a good deal more nuanced. This paper sets the Irish experience alongside that of the other Eurozone periphery countries. It argues that these countries' recovery prospects depend on the EU economic policy framework, but that Ireland’s connections to non-Eurozone economies also shape its growth prospects. Political stability is problematic in all the periphery countries, with the rise of challenger parties articulating values and priorities that may be difficult to accommodate within the current European policy regime. This is connected to a wider problem of the decay of older political identities and loyalties and the emergence of a new legitimation gap for EU member states.
- PublicationBorders and employment : opportunities and barriers(University College Dublin. Institute for British-Irish Studies, 2006)This paper considers the impact of borders on employment opportunities or barriers on the island of Ireland. In that context, it is about several senses of “border”: the creation of two borders on the independence of Ireland, east-west and north-south; disputed understandings of nationality; Commonwealth membership as the source of this dispute, yet also enabling east-west freedom of movement; conversely, the regulation of movement into the north; the complicated impact of common membership of the EU; and inward migration to the two countries, bringing new “borders of the mind”. The paper begins with the nationality and citizenship considerations lying behind the “bridging” of the two new political borders brought about by Ireland’s independence. It outlines the experience of workers freely crossing the east-west border and the regulation of movement into the north. It then turns to the perverse impact of the EU. After that, it deals with new patterns of crossing borders—the growth of migration into both north and south of a new range of peoples and the manifestation of new “borders of the mind”. In conclusion, it outlines new efforts to cross the border through cooperation to combat employment and other forms of discrimination against the new migrants.
- PublicationBreaking with or building on the past? Reforming Irish public administration : 1958-2008The Irish experience of public service reform provides a unique case study of institutional change and resilience, and offers new perspectives on public service reform in “Anglo-Saxon” administrative systems. The data used for this paper provides for new perspectives on how we understand a core aspect of the Irish state, and how we can conceptualise attempts to reform it. Using insights from organisational and neo-institutional theory, and drawing on data from the new Mapping the State database, this paper identifies drivers of administrative reform during the period 1958-2008 as well as key periods of institutional change that determined the trajectory of reform processes. The paper considers the effects of Irish economic reform in the late 1950s on the public administration, culminating in the work of the Public Service Organisation Review Group (1966-69). It also examines the emerging influence of market and new right ideas in the 1980s and the consequences of the application of new public management styles to Ireland. Particular attention is paid to the public service reform agenda following the Strategic Management Initiative (1994) and concludes with an analysis of the recent OECD review of the Irish public service.
- PublicationBrexit and Irish Security and Defence(University College Dublin. School of Politics and International Relations, 2019-03)Brexit poses fundamental challenges to the Irish state across the public policy spectrum but critically in the area of security and defence. Traditionally, Irish security and defence policy was driven by three interconnected policy goals; territorial defence, aid to the civil power and international security operations. The prospect of the UK’s withdrawal from the European Union has placed each of these three security and defence roles into a new context and poses a substantial existential challenge to the Irish state. Each will be reviewed in turn; the impact of Brexit on Irish security and defence policy, the capacity and role of the defence forces, and Ireland’s engagement in EU security and defence – including the prospect of a ‘common defence’. We argue that these three concerns lie at the heart of national existential interests; the survival of the peace process and security on this Island.
- PublicationBuilding on easy money: the political economy of housing bubbles in Ireland and SpainThis paper undertakes a structured, focused case-study comparison of housing bubbles in Ireland and Spain, based on the selection of two most-different cases that nonetheless share a common outcome of interest. Both countries were exposed to the same set of changes in their international policy environment in the late 1990s and early 2000s, in the form of a low interest rate regime associated with the creation of European Monetary Union (EMU). The two countries have very different economic structures, different political decisionmaking profiles, and different relationships between the political and banking systems. Yet these two countries had the most extreme experience of housing bubbles during the 200os, and both suffered a similar construction-related economic collapse that ruined their respective banking systems after 2008. The paper argues that the decision-making taking place within their very different domestic institutional frameworks was subordinated to the fact that they shared a similar form of international vulnerability. Both were extremely open to mobile international capital during the 2000s. Their vulnerability to financialization resulted in a common experience of very rapid asset price inflation, which left both countries particularly exposed when the international financial collapse took place. The shared experience of European ‘peripherality’ meant that two countries belonging to different ‘varieties of capitalism’ ended up with very similar kinds of economic collapse
- PublicationCartel stability and the Joint Executive Committee, 1880-1886In this paper we analyse a railroad cartel run by the Joint Executive Committee (JEC) in the United States in the nineteenth century. The JEC was a cartel whose members anticipated a periodic fall in demand due to competition from the Great Lakes. In a simplified situation we model the optimal price setting behaviour of a cartel that fully anticipates a large and prolonged (infinite) switch to a lower level of demand. We show that joint profit maximisation is not sustainable as a perfect equilibrium before the switch (in the lakes closed regimes). We also show that an optimal cartel may have had to revise its official rate downwards in the periods leading up to the infinite switch in demand. Empirically we show that the number of weeks leading up to the opening of the lakes is a significant factor in explaining downward price revisions by the JEC in lakes closed regimes. Unanticipated demand shocks and entry of new firms are also found to be significant factors. The factors that determine price revisions in the lakes open regimes cannot be analysed due to insufficient data points and control variables.
- PublicationCeltic phoenix or leprechaun economics? The politics of an FDI led growth model in EuropeIn this paper we argue that Ireland’s post-crisis economic recovery in Europe was driven by foreign direct investment (FDI) from Silicon Valley, and whilst this growth model was made possible by Ireland’s low corporate tax rates, it was also a result of these firms using Ireland to directly access the European labour market. We evidence this contention via sectoral and geographic analyses while simultaneously showing that Irish fiscal policies have not redistributed gains from the recovery to the broader population. As a result, the economic recovery has been most actively felt by those in the FDI sectors, including foreign-national workers from the EU and beyond. We suggest that this experience indicates that Ireland’s FDI-led model of economic development has created clear winners and losers, with significant distributional implications. The FDI growth regime been made possible by inward migration and European integration, but given the unequal distribution of the economic benefits that this generates, it is unlikely to be politically, or electorally, sustainable.
- PublicationCrisis in the Irish Banking SystemIreland has had one of the most catastrophic experiences of financial crisis in the developed world, in the wake of the global financial crisis of 2008. Unlike the US or Britain though, Ireland’s enormous banking exposure was almost entirely related to property speculation and to the unchecked domestic housing bubble of the preceding ten years. This paper analyses the conditions that led to the crisis, taking account of patterns of corporate governance, regulatory institutions and practices, and the linkages between the banking sector and the political system.
- PublicationDid political constraints bind during transition? Evidence from Czech elections 1990-2002Many theoretical models of transition are driven by the assumption that economic decision making is subject to political constraints. In this paper we empirically test whether the winners and losers of economic reform determined voting behaviour in the first five national elections in the Czech Republic. We propose that voters, taking stock of endowments from the planning era, could predict whether they would become "winners" or "losers" of transition. Using survey data we measure the percentage of individuals by region who were "afraid" and "not afraid" of economic reform in 1990. We define the former as potential "winners" who should vote for pro-reform parties, while latter are potential "losers" who should support leftwing parties. Using national election results and regional economic indicators, we demonstrate that there is persistence in support for pro-reform and communist parties driven by prospective voting based on initial conditions in 1990. As a result, we show that regional unemployment rates in 2002 are good predictors of regional voting patterns in 1990.
- PublicationDifferent Angles on Climate Justice: Insights from Non-Domination and Mutual Recognition(ARENA Centre for European Studies, 2018-01-10)Practitioners occasionally demure that the current academic literature on climate justice is overly abstract and unhelpful in their attempt to promote more effective and equitable climate policies. This paper analyses the claim that one reason for this might be that the debate is currently shaped by a particular narrow understanding of justice as impartiality and neglects other important approaches to justice. I first introduce my interpretation of Erik O. Eriksen's three conceptions of global political justice focusing on impartiality, non-domination, and mutual recognition. Then, I present the key concerns and positions that shape the debates on climate justice in the field of political theory and show why (and in how far) I think current climate justice is predominantly shaped by 'justice as impartiality'. I argue that this explains the emphasis on substantive justice over procedural questions. Furthermore, I show that looking at key questions in climate justice from the perspectives of theories emphasising non-domination and mutual recognition helps to identify some blind-spots in the current debate. Among the issues that are currently somewhat neglected are questions relating to the nature of the relationships of the relevant parties negotiating climate policy. This concerns on the one hand power inequalities and dependencies that shape the interactions between different parties. On the other hand, this relates to the question of how agents perceive these relationships with regard to dimensions of recognition, respect, and concern. It seems likely that less powerful agents have good reasons to feel that the global political regime as it currently works does not treat their interests and demands with the same urgency and importance as is shown for those of some more powerful players. Furthermore, their concerns regarding the normatively significant features of the situation at large are not always respected as equally valid contributions to the debate. I conclude by arguing that climate justice nonetheless cannot do without a rights-based framework typical for justice as impartiality that protects fundamental interests and the pre-conditions for free and equal participation.
- PublicationDoes being protestant matter? Protestants, minorities and the re-making of religious identity after the Good Friday AgreementThe Good Friday Agreement of 1998 gave an opportunity to remake not just political institutions but ethno-religious distinction in Northern Ireland. This paper looks at the how individuals reconstruct their way of being Protestant in Ireland and Northern Ireland in the context of social and political change. It shows individuals renegotiating their ways of being Protestant, attempting sometimes successfully to change its socio-cultural salience, blurring ethnic boundaries, distinguishing religious and ethno-national narratives, drawing universalistic political norms from their particular religious tradition. It argues that these renegotiations are highly sensitive to the macro-political context. Changes in this context affect individuals through their changing cognitive understandings and strategic interests which, at least in this case, are as important to identification as are social solidarities.
- PublicationDublin opinions : Dublin newspapers and the crisis of the fifties(University College Dublin. Institute for British-Irish Studies, 2009)Dublin journalism was well served by three national newspapers and a coterie of weeklies and irregular publications during the period 1948-1962. In this paper, the different 'takes' on the perceived crisis in the Irish economy and polity of the mid-fifties are analysed. It is concluded that the Irish Independent and the Irish Times adhered to almost identical positions of agrarian fundamentalism until very late on during this crucial decade in Ireland's political and economic development. It is also argued that the case for non-farm employment as Ireland's true future was most consistently and energetically made by the Irish Press, essentially the mouthpiece of Sean Lemass, Minister for Industry and Commerce from 1945 to 1948, 1951 to 1954, 1957 to 1959 and Taoiseach thereafter. The awareness that Ireland had to diversify economically was behind the foundation in 1949-50 of the Industrial Development Authority under the auspices of Daniel Morrissey of Fine Gael. All major parties were deeply divided on the issue of economic development. It is also concluded that the sense of a real social and cultural crisis was intense at the time, and the awareness that an old Ireland had to die that a new one might be born was strong.
- PublicationEarnings inequality and transition : a regional analysis of PolandIn this paper we estimate the impact of transition on earnings inequality using data across Polish regions 1994-1997. Our central result is that earnings inequality is higher in regions that are more advanced in restructuring (higher labour productivity/job reallocation rates), controlling for unobservable regional fixed effects. At the national level rapid growth does not seem to be associated with earnings inequality. This aggregate relationship is shown to be misleading. The positive relationship between earnings inequality and the stage of transition across regions remains when we apply an infrastructure-deficit based instrumental variable approach to allow for reverse causality.
- PublicationThe effect of real exchange rate movements on the life expectancy of manufacturing plants in Ireland, 1973-94We estimate the factors that affect the life expectancy of plants operating in the manufacturing sector of Ireland over the period 1980-1994. Our results suggest that real exchange rate appreciations have caused a great number of infant mortalities in domestic plants both in the traditional and high tech sectors over this period. Real effective exchange rate movements are estimated to have no effect on the plant life expectancy of foreign owned firms. Domestic plants operating in the high-tech sector are estimated to have a higher life expectancy than those operating in the traditional sector. In addition, the real exchange rate effect on the survival rates of domestic plants in the R&D intensive sectors even though significant is weaker compared with the traditional sector.
- PublicationEmbedding consumer taste for location into a structural model of equilibriumGiven that brands (products) are location specific in terms of coverage of retail stores, we allow consumers to have preferences over location and products to carry distribution costs, alongside preferences and costs over other observable and unobservable product characteristics. We embed these considerations into Berry, Levinsohn and Pakes (1995) to jointly estimate demand and cost parameters for brands (products) in Retail Carbonated Soft Drinks. Allowing for location has a very significant impact on estimated primitives and the predictive power of the structural model. As a counterfactual exercise we show the effects on welfare of an equilibrium that results from a change in the distribution of consumer taste for location.