Now showing 1 - 10 of 12
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    Tangling with the Troika: ‘domestic ownership’ as political and administrative engagement in Greece, Ireland, and Portugal
    This paper analyses variation in the degrees of difficulty involved in negotiating and implementing loan programmes with the international lenders in Greece, Ireland, and Portugal. All three countries displayed high degrees of ultimate compliance with fiscal consolidation and structural adjustment conditionality, but the pace of implementation varied significantly. This paper argues that ‘domestic ownership’ of the loan programmes is a key determinant of outcomes, understood in terms of two dimensions: negotiating capacity and implementation capacity. Empirical evidence confirms that these concepts provide a strong explanatory framework for understanding variation in relations between national governments and the international lenders.
      401Scopus© Citations 16
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  • Publication
    Breaking with or building on the past? Reforming Irish public administration : 1958-2008
    (University College Dublin. Institute for British-Irish Studies, 2009) ;
    The 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.
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    Exploiting conditionality: EU and international actors and post-NPM reform in Ireland
    (SAGE Publications, 2019-04-10) ;
    Between 2008 and 2015, Ireland undertook unprecedented and systemic public sector reforms in a polity not traditionally considered a prominent reformer. While some of these reforms comprised part of the loan programme agreement with EU and international actors, many others did not. This article argues that the crisis in Ireland provided a window of opportunity to introduce reforms that political and administrative elites had previously found difficult to implement. The authority of the Troika was invoked to provide legitimacy for controversial initiatives, yet some of the reforms went further than the loan programme strictly required. A number of these concerning organisational rationalisation, the public service 'bargain' and transversal policy coordination are considered here. Agreements were negotiated with public sector unions that facilitated sharp cuts in pay and conditions, reducing the potential for opposition to change. The reform effort was further legitimated by the reformers' post-New Public Management, whole-of-government discourse, which situated considerations of effectiveness and efficiency in a broader framework of public service quality and delivery.
      655Scopus© Citations 12
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    The Troika’s variations on a trio: Why the loan programmes worked so differently in Greece, Ireland, and Portugal
    (University College Dublin. Geary Institute, 2017-10-17) ; ; ;
    Portugal and Ireland exited Troika loan programmes; Greece did not. The conventional narrative is that different outcomes are best explained by differences in national competences in implementing programme requirements. This paper argues that three factors distinguish the Greek experience from that of Ireland and Portugal: different economic, political, and institutional starting conditions; the ad hoc nature of the European institutions’ approach to crisis resolution; and the very different conditionalities built into each of the loan programmes as a result. Ireland and Portugal show some signs of recovery despite austerity measures, but Greece has been burdened beyond all capacity to recover convincingly.
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    State Retrenchment and Administrative Reform in Ireland: Probing Comparative Policy Paradigms
    (Taylor and Francis, 2016) ;
    Policy choices in response to crisis may carry consequences both for distributive outcomes and for the future policy capacity of the state itself. This paper uses conceptual heuristics to interpret policy practice. It examines the underlying policy paradigms shaping Irish government decisions in the aftermath of the European financial and economic crisis. Drawing on comparative political economy literature, it distinguishes between two such paradigms – market-conforming and social equity – and applies them to three reform themes: reconfiguration of public budgets, the public service pay bargain, and the organizational profile of state competences. The findings entail lessons for understanding the malleability of policy choice, and how state policy choices in response to crisis are framed and implemented.
      680Scopus© Citations 17
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    Governance and parliamentary accountability
    (University College Dublin. Geary Institute, 2007-11-12)
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    How governments retrench in crisis: the case of Ireland
    (University College Dublin. Geary Institute, 2013-09) ;
    The Irish experience of fiscal retrenchment under crisis conditions poses new questions of governance, the evolving answers to which are likely to involve importance changes in the state’s organizational profile and in its policy competences. The government is required to formulate and implement extremely tough choices, particularly since Ireland entered an EU-IMF loan programme in November 2010. Yet government does retain some policy discretion in the priorities it adopts in the composition of budget adjustment and in the distributive impact of cuts. This paper sets out to explore where the adjustments have been ma e through examination both of the composition of budgets and of the organizational configuration of state institutions, and it analyses how these outcomes can be accounted for. The paper draws upon a new official database setting out a detailed compositional analysis of Irish public spending between 2008 and 2012, and upon the Irish State Administration Database ( through which the organizational aspects of the state's policy capacity can be analysed.
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    Cutback management in Ireland in the wake of the financial crisis
    (Routledge, 2017-06-16) ;
    Ireland was one of the European states most severely affected by the financial crisis. A number of official reports into the causes of that crisis (Regling and Watson 2010; Honohan 2010; Nyberg 2011; Independent Review Panel 2011, Houses of the Oireachtas 2016) have pointed to a combination of domestic contributing factors, including weak regulation of financial institutions, weak state capacity and pro-cyclical fiscal policies adopted by successive governments from the late 1990s. The crisis resulted in one of the world’s largest ever state-backed bank guarantees and a subsequent ‘bailout’ loan from the Troika of the IMF, EU and ECB in late 2010. Also as a consequence of this crisis, the 2008-15 period was defined by an unprecedented series of cutbacks in the Irish public service, as part of a broader strategy to reassert control of the state’s finances.
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    Reforming the Westminster Model of Agency Governance: Britain and Ireland after the Crisis
    Conventional understandings of what the Westminster model implies anticipate reliance on a top-down, hierarchical approach to budgetary accountability, reinforced by a post-New Public Management emphasis on re-centralizing administrative capacity. This paper, based on a comparative analysis of the experiences of Britain and Ireland, argues that the Westminster model of bureaucratic control and oversight itself has been evolving, hastened in large part due to the global financial crisis. Governments have gained stronger controls over the structures and practices of agencies, but agencies are also key players in securing better governance outcomes. The implication is that the crisis has not seen a return to the archetypal command-and-control model, nor a wholly new implementation of negotiated European-type practices, but rather a new accountability balance between elements of the Westminster system itself that have not previously been well understood. 
      344Scopus© Citations 18