Ireland's international reputation changed rapidly from global
success story to European problem-case. How did this happen? What
are the implications for our view of good governance? This book
argues that there is a crisis in the way the Irish state is
structured and in the manner in which it relates to the main
organised interests in the society. Through a set of linked policy
studies, it shows how sectional benefits can be prioritised where
public interest considerations are weakly articulated and debated.
Policy choices may entail unintended perverse consequences that,
once embedded, can be difficult to alter. The book traces these
weaknesses to the dominance of parties, the permeability of the
political system to sectional interests, and the weakness of
democratic accountability. A powerful concluding chapter sets out
an agenda for future research on institutional design and political
reform. This book sets out a compelling argument that institutional
design matters, especially in an increasingly globalised and
interdependent world. -- .
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