"Politics in the Republic of Ireland is now well established as the definitive, comprehensive study of Irish politics. This is a 'must buy' for any course on Irish politics, a 'must read' for any student of the subject, or even a casual, interested observer of all things Irish." - David Farrell, University College Dublin, Ireland
"This remains THE authoritative source for anyone needing a comprehensive grounding in the government and politics of modern Ireland. The editors have assembled an outstanding team of authors who write accessibly on important topics about which they deep knowledge." - Michael Laver, New York University, USA
"Politics in the Republic of Ireland is the place to start for an understanding of Irish politics. This new lively and up-to-date edition confirms the book’s place at the top of the list." - R. Kenneth Carty, University of British Columbia, Canada
"Quite simply this is the best introduction to modern Irish politics that has ever been produced. The editors have assembled an impressive cast of the relevant experts on all the expected themes." - Paul Mitchell, West European Politics
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From the Author
Politics in the Republic of Ireland 4th edition builds on the success of previous editions to provide a full overview of politics and government in one of the most dynamic societies in Europe.
It gives a comprehensive treatment of all aspects of the political and governmental processes. It begins with three chapters on the context of politics, which establish the consequences of Irelands distinctive historical background, show the extent of recent changes in Irish society, explore the rapidly-changing political culture, and analyse the impact of a rigid constitution interpreted by perhaps the most activist judiciary in western Europe.
A number of chapters discuss the main actors of representative democracy. The political consequences of Irelands virtually unique electoral system, PR-STV, are examined, and three chapters assess the relationship between political parties and Irish society, looking at the changing party system and the recent rise of new political forces, party linkages with society, and voting behaviour at a time of social change. The complex relationship between parliament and government is analysed, along with the reasons for and the consequences of the strong focus of Irish parliamentarians upon constituency-related activities. The reasons for the under-representation of women in Irish politics and society, and the possible consequences of this, are explored.
Four chapters consider policy and administration. The extent to which the president and the prime minister can and do perform a political leadership role is explored, as is the operation of what was previously Westminster-style cabinet government during a period when coalition government has become the norm. Policy-making in Ireland in recent years has been characterised by extensive involvement by interest groups, whose role is discussed in detail, and the theme of multi-level governance and the possible hollowing-out of the state is explored.
Irelands external relationships are examined in two chapters, one dealing with AngloIrish relations with particular regard to Northern Ireland, the other focusing on Irelands membership of the European Union.
Finally, extensive appendices present a wide range of current and historical data on Irish society and politics.
Through its previous three editions Politics in the Republic of Ireland has established itself as the standard textbook on Irish politics. It is used as the main textbook in every Irish university, and in universities elsewhere where courses in Irish Politics or Irish Studies are taught.
For the fourth edition the book has been extensively revised and updated to keep pace with changing political and social developments. Existing chapters have been thoroughly revised and refreshed, and three new chapters have been included, covering voting behaviour (based on analysis of Irelands first-ever national election study), multi-level governance, and the IrishBritish relationship.
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