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Irish Studies in International Affairs, 2020, Vol. 31

12 May 2021

Read John Doyle's freely available Editorial in Irish Studies in International Affairs, 2020, Vol. 31

John Doyle's Editorial offers an overview of the contents of the Volume 31 of Irish Studies in International Affairs, 2020, which has been published recently.  

This issue of Irish Studies in International Affairs draws largely on the theme of the 2020 Annual Conference which discussed ‘The global politics of the climate emergency’. It was an unusual conference in April 2020, organised before the Covid-19 pandemic and then held fully online, relatively early in the related restrictions. The standard of debate and interaction was however of the highest quality and we are delighted to publish papers based on most of those presentations. It was also interesting to reflect back on conferences from 2017 and 2018 on the challenges for multilateralism and right-wing populism, and to see how so many of this year’s papers saw the limitations of international policy action, as a sub-set of a wider threat to multilateral politics.

The volume begins with the opening address to the 2020 conference by the then tánaiste and minister for foreign affairs and trade, Simon Coveney TD. It provides a thoughtful response from government to the climate emergency and the need for policy responses. In a focus on discursive debates around climate policy, Diarmuid Torney draws on recent literature in environmental politics as well as the Copenhagen School of security studies. He identifies four characteristics of emergency politics: policy prioritisation, mobilisation of resources, the role of experts in policymaking, and oversight and scrutiny of government decision-making. He analyses the Irish state’s response under these headings, concluding that Ireland’s response to date falls considerably short of the kind of response we might expect to be associated with emergency politics. Continue reading here

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