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Debating austerity in Ireland: crisis, experience and recovery

by  Emma HeffernanJohn McHaleNiamh Moore-Cherry
€ 20.00

Book Details

Published by Royal Irish Academy

September 2017


Number of pages: 339

ISBN: 978-1-908997-68-5


PDF icon Advance Information PDF icon Table of contents PDF icon Chapter 1

The austerity that followed the recent economic and financial crisis has led to impassioned debates across the social sciences and the public at large. Although Ireland was not its only victim, the depth of the interacting economic, banking and budgetary crises has meant that the level of public interest has been especially intense. Among the hotly debated questions: what is austerity? Was it necessary? What have been its consequences? One of the defining features of the debate to date has been its tendency to polarise opinion and adopt a one-dimensional perspective. This book challenges us to adopt a more nuanced approach to understandings of austerity, and by extension the path to recovery. The book brings together leading national and international experts from across the social sciences to debate this traumatic period in Ireland’s economic and social development.

The papers were selected from a conference at the Royal Irish Academy, peer-reviewed and rewritten with the addition of a substantial introduction and conclusion by the editors.

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List of figures  vii
List of tables   viii
About the authors  ix
Foreword Patrick Honohan  xi

Austerity in Ireland: a debate Niamh Moore-Cherry, John McHale and Emma Heffernan  1

Part 1: Austerity as concept and practice
1. A general theory of austerity Simon Wren-Lewis  17
2. Why austerity? John McHale  37
3. The ideological project of austerity experts Kieran Allen  53
4. Irish media coverage of the housing bubble and austerity Julien Mercille  67

Part 2: Experiencing austerity
5. Austerity in the European periphery: the Irish experience Niamh Hardiman, Spyros Blavoukos, Sebastian Dellepiane Avellaneda and George Pagoulatos  83
6. Austerity and inequality in Ireland Christopher T. Whelan and Brian Nolan  100
7. Austerity, resistance and social protest in Ireland:movement outcomes Niamh Hourigan  115
8. Housing and austerity: a two-way street Ronan Lyons  129
9. Poverty and risk: the impact of austerity on vulnerable females in Dublin’s inner city Emma Heffernan  144
10. Child poverty in a period of austerity Dorothy Watson, Bertrand Maître, Christopher T. Whelan and James Williams  157
11. Resilience: a high price for survival? The impact of austerity on Irish higher education, South and North Rosalind Pritchard and Maria Slowey  175
12. Migration patterns, experiences and consequences in an age of austerity Mary Gilmartin  191
13. The austerity myth: parenting and the new thrift culture in contemporary Ireland Fiona Murphy  204

Part 3: Beyond austerity? From crisis to recovery
14. Ireland’s recovery: explanation, potential and pitfalls Seán Ó Riain  219
15. Resources available for public services: how does Ireland compare now and how to prepare for the future? Seamus Coffey  235
16. Towards an inclusive and just recovery Seán Healy  255

Conclusion: progressing debates on austerity in Ireland John McHale, Niamh Moore-Cherry and Emma Heffernan  270
Appendices  281
Bibliography  310
Index  334

About the authors

Emma Heffernan

Emma Heffernan is currently a postdoctoral researcher in the Research Collaborative in Quality and Safety (RCQS) based at the RCSI / MU. She completed her PhD in anthropology at Maynooth University in 2011 and a Masters in Public Health in UCD in 2013. Emma is also a registered general nurse and holds a BSc (Hons) in Nursing from RCSI and a Postgraduate Diploma in Specialist Nursing from TCD. Her research interests include social exclusion, global health, social and cultural determinants of health and illness, sexuality, social epidemiology and public health.

John McHale

John McHale is established professor of economics and director of the Whitaker Institute for Innovation and Societal Change at NUI Galway. He is also chairperson of the Irish Fiscal Advisory Council. He previously held appointments as associate professor of managerial economics at the Queen’s School of Business, Ontario and as assistant and associate professor of economics at Harvard University, where he also received his PhD in 1996. He is currently a member of the National Economic and Social Council, associate editor of the Economic and Social Review, and vice-president of the Irish Economics Association. 

Niamh Moore-Cherry

Niamh Moore-Cherry is associate professor and deputy head of the School of Geography, University College Dublin. She is an urban geographer and her research is focused on understanding how cities are governed; how urban policy is developed; and with what impacts. She is the author of Dublin Docklands Reinvented (Four Courts Press, 2008), has co-edited two books and has published papers in national and international journals. She is president of the Geographical Society of Ireland and a member of the Royal Irish Academy Social Sciences Committee.