College of Arts, Celtic Studies and Social Sciences - Masters by Research Theses

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    Defence planning in Ireland
    (University College Cork, 2022-10-06) Crummey, Declan; Cottey, Andrew
    This research explores defence planning in Ireland, establishing incrementalism as the theory of public policy that best reflects decision-making in Ireland’s defence policy. The research also establishes the institutions and actors that are involved, how they are organised and what relationship exists between them, while identifying Ireland’s defence planning model. The challenge of how a society plans for and manages defence, and defence planning as a practice to meet this challenge, has existed throughout history. Most modern democratic states maintain the ability to organise a collective military force. The procedures and processes that determine what that military force consists of, and what it can do, is defence planning. Effective and efficient defence planning is more concerned with the form and function of the future military force than the deployment of the current one. The research was conducted from a mixed-method, concurrent quantitative and qualitative design position utilising the phenomenological approach. Three (3) primary methods of data collection were identified by the researcher in this mixed-methods research design – document review, interviews, and a web-based survey. The findings indicate that structured defence planning occurs in Ireland. Defence planning in Ireland recognises specific national challenges in relation to threat perception, a traditionally low defence spend and the lack of a national discourse on defence matters. There is a clearly defined structure for the management of defence planning in Ireland from the Government through the Minister for Defence to the civil and military elements of the Department of Defence. The primary tool utilised for defence policy is a White Paper process but there is uncertainty about how this policy will be expressed in the future. There have only been two (2) White Papers on Defence in the history of the State. From a historical reluctance to formulate defence policy, incrementalism has emerged as the prevailing theory of public policy underpinning defence in Ireland. The civil-military relationship in Ireland is not clearly defined. As a result, there are different interpretations, understandings and perspectives between civil and military personnel. Threat based planning is stated to be the planning framework for defence policy but the research indicates that a combination of resource constrained planning and incremental planning is more accurate. There is influence from, and engagement with, International Organisations evident in Ireland’s defence planning but a NATO or EU approach is not adopted. A critical gap identified in the historical and current context, is the lack of clearly defined and stated threats and subsequent tasks for the military force. This should exist as a high-level policy parameter such as a National Security Strategy to which a subordinate defence policy can be nested and clear tasks and objectives can be determined for the military.
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    Changes in practice of diplomacy 2000-2020, case study: Ireland's Department of Foreign Affairs
    (University College Cork, 2022) Ní Fhallúin, Deirdre; Cottey, Andrew
    As the practice of diplomacy has undergone dramatic change in the first two decades of the 21st century, this thesis examines to what extent those changes have had an impact on Ireland’s Department of Foreign Affairs as the principal actor in Irish diplomacy and foreign policy. Interviews were conducted with a cross-section of serving senior Irish diplomats to investigate how the Irish foreign service – the Department of Foreign Affairs and its diplomats – has responded in a time of challenge and change. A study of the literature suggested that the changes to the practice of international diplomacy could be categorised under three headings – actors, issues and systems. A wide- range of state and non-state actors now participate in international diplomacy, meaning that foreign ministries engage with a far greater range of stakeholders than heretofore. As the distinction between domestic and foreign policy issues becomes less clear and as the diplomatic agenda widens well beyond the traditional areas of international peace and security, foreign ministries are dealing with more complex and cross-cutting issues than ever before. These changes have impacted on both the foreign ministry as an organisation and the individual diplomat practitioner. A review of the literature on Irish diplomacy revealed a gap in respect of how these changes have influenced the role and work of the Department of Foreign Affairs since 2000. By interviewing serving diplomats, insights and analysis were obtained that might not otherwise have been available. The research uncovered developments in the relationships between the Department of Foreign Affairs and other state actors such as the Department of the Taoiseach, other government departments, the state agencies and the parliament. Interaction with non-state actors such as the Irish public, the diaspora and civil society were also considered. The widening of the diplomatic agenda was also reflected in the research in relation to newer issues like values-based diplomacy, climate change and migration, while more long- standing areas of focus such as economic and trade diplomacy, consular work and security and defence issues were also examined. Changes to both the size and organisational culture of the Department of Foreign Affairs emerged as significant themes in the research. Finally, topics related to the individual diplomat were considered including the rise of public diplomacy and whether the characteristics and skills that diplomats have traditionally prioritised enable them to operate successfully in this more complex and challenging environment.
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    Connecting classroom, school and community: the role of music in primary level education in Ireland
    (University College Cork, 2008-04) Finnerty, Michelle; Mercier, Mel
    This thesis explores the role of music education in primary level education in Ireland. Since the introduction of the New Revised Music Curriculum in 1999 there has been an increase in the profile of music education at primary level. Principals and teachers have become more aware of the importance of enhancing the provision of and access to music education in schools and creating equal opportunities for children to participate in music. The renewed interest in providing access to music education at primary level has also led to a number of extra-curricular developments. Arts organizations, local community groups, music teachers, and musicians have become more involved in music education programs through various extra-curricular projects and initiatives. This study focuses on the classroom as the locus of the schooling system. It focuses on fieldwork conducted in two primary level schools in Cork. By entering the environment of the classroom, the research presents an understanding of the role of music at primary level and it highlights how music is ‘unique’ in the way it makes connections between the classroom, the school community and the wider community outside of the schools. This investigation of the primary school system argues that there are two approaches to the provision of music education at primary level in Ireland: the formal curricular based teaching, implemented by the classroom teacher, and the informal, extra-curricular work, involving the classroom teacher and various members of the school community and the wider community. It reveals that there are three main agents involved in the co-ordination of music at primary level: the classroom teacher, the music curriculum co-ordinator and the music specialist. Through observations and discussions with the people at the centre of the classroom, this research provides an understanding of the ways in which music education can be provided and how connections between school and community can be strengthened.
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    Analysis of the sea surface temperature variations around Ireland's coastline 2002-2020
    (University College Cork, 2022-07-13) Murphy, Aisling M.; Hickey, Kieran
    This thesis analyses the sea surface temperature variations around Ireland’s coastline from 2002-2020, using time series analysis of the one inactive and five currently active marine buoys. In depth analysis of the annual and seasonal sea surface temperature variations were assessed as well as spells of maximum and minimum sea surface temperature for each buoy. Both short term and long-term causations were identified as contributors to the variations in sea surface temperature experienced around Ireland’s coastline. Particular focus on the Atlantic Multidecadal Variability, The NAO Index, the North Atlantic hurricane season and the position of the jet stream were assessed and correlated with sea surface temperature changes around Ireland’s coastline from 2002-2020. These processes are interconnected and display a proportional relationship to each other as there is a high correlation between changes in these processes and a domino effect of other atmospheric and oceanic processes that influence sea surface temperatures around Ireland’s coastline. There were variations in the annual average SST between the buoys. The buoys M4 and M5 both recorded an overall increase in mean annual SST from 2002-2020. Buoys M2, M3 and M6 recorded an overall decrease in the mean annual SST from 2002-2020. No clear connection between the different annual SST trends between the buoys were identified, however their individual location in relation to the continental shelf was a local factor that may have contributed to the variations between the buoys. In depth analysis of the long- and short-term contributors to variations in SST around Ireland’s coastline showed that the most significant influencing factors of SST variations around Ireland’s coastline were the North Atlantic hurricane season track positions and the varying position of the jet stream. Both of these factors displayed a significant impact on the annual SST variations and the spells of either maximum or minimum SST for each buoy. These factors also contributed to changes in the NAO Index, which further influenced SST variations around Ireland’s coastline. The hurricane events contribute to the mixing of waters around Ireland’s coastline, causing unstable conditions and a high level of mixing waters during negative NAO Index occurrences. The AMV signal impacts on air temperature, causing an increase in the effect and frequency of hurricane events in the North Atlantic which influence SST around Ireland’s coastline. Assessment of ongoing changes in the position of the jet stream would be a critical factor in evaluation of future SST variations around Ireland’s coastline.
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    A study of the outcome of Irish agriculture policy on Ireland’s climate change obligations compared to other countries with similar agriculture sectors
    (University College Cork, 2022-12-14) Corbett, James G.; Duggan, Niall
    The Kyoto Protocol, while not successful in reducing greenhouse gas emissions, established the main actions required to control emissions. Its successor the Paris Agreement sets a target of climate neutrality by 2050. The EU has adopted a climate leadership position with an interim target of a 40% (or 55%) reduction by 2030. This thesis examines the evolution of Irish GHG emissions over the period of the Kyoto Protocol compared to a selected group of countries with comparable agriculture sectors. It demonstrates that Ireland’s overall emissions increased over the period from 1990 to 2020, with agricultural emissions remaining flat during the same period. Other EU countries have largely complied with their emission reduction commitments and look set to meet future targets. Government policy is shown to be the main causal factor for emission outcomes. An increase in climate and environmental concerns is leading to new, more comprehensive environmental policies to reduce emissions. An aware public, backed by legal precedent, is forcing governments to act. In pursuing a policy of continued growth for the current agricultural model, it is difficult to see how Irish agriculture can avoid forced cuts in GHG emissions with so little progress made in its other emitting sectors.