Government - Book Chapters

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    Parties and the party system
    (Routledge, 2023-08-31) Weeks, Liam; Coakley, John; Gallagher, Michael; O'Malley , Eoin; Reidy, Theresa
    The first section of the chapter outlines the primary actors in the Irish party system and the evolution of competition between them, placing the origins and development of the party system within a comparative framework. It discusses the traditional party system dominated by Fianna Fáil and Fine Gael, and how this has been challenged by a new model with the rise of Sinn Féin, other left-wing parties, and independents. The second section focuses on the internal workings of parties, detailing the operation of their organisations and identifying where power lies within them. As well as a consideration of how the parties function, it details how each of them makes policy, picks its leaders, and chooses its candidates. Issues around party finance and campaign expenditure are also discussed. The chapter concludes with an evaluation of the role of parties and the place of the Irish party system in the twenty-first century.
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    Women in politics
    (Routledge, 2023-08-31) Galligan, Yvonne; Buckley, Fiona; Coakley, John; Gallagher, Michael; O'Malley, Eoin; Reidy, Theresa
    This chapter draws attention to gender and representative politics in Ireland. It begins by taking a detailed look at the pattern of women’s representation in social and political decision-making. This is followed by an exploration of the causes of women’s absence from public life and a discussion of the parliamentary representation of women’s interests. The significant progress in relation to women’s lives and women’s political representation in Ireland since the 1990s is highlighted. Yet continuing gendered biases remain, stymieing women’s advancement in public life while simultaneously privileging the male status quo. Furthermore, the need for a more inclusive and diverse politics is made. The chapter concludes with a general assessment of current patterns and future challenges.
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    Ireland: Understanding gender quotas as a stepping-stone to gender transformation and empowerment
    (Palgrave Macmillan, 2022-12-02) Brennan, Mary; Buckley, Fiona; Galligan, Yvonne; Lang, Sabine; Meier, Petra; Sauer, Birgit
    Ostensibly, gender quotas have had a transformative effect on women’s political candidacy and election in Ireland. Since the inaugural “gender quota election” of 2016, the number of women candidates contesting general elections has increased by 90% while the number of women elected has increased by 44%. Yet, in 2022, men outnumber women by a ratio of 3.44:1 in Dáil Eireann (the lower house of parliament). This chapter discusses the implementation of legislative gender quotas in Ireland. It shows that political parties have met the letter of the law in fielding the requisite numbers of women candidates, but questions remain as to the extent to which the spirit of the law has been embraced to transform candidate selection processes within political parties. The chapter argues that legislative gender quotas should therefore be understood as the start rather than the culmination of efforts to achieve gender equality within political parties in Ireland. But beyond political parties, we conclude that the introduction of candidate gender quotas in Ireland flagged a significant shift in political culture, which carried through into later political reforms on the unresolved issue of abortion and the newer issue of marriage equality.
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    Gender quotas in Ireland: A first for proportional representation by the single transferable vote
    (Oxford University Press, 2021-08-01) Buckley, Fiona; Brennan, Mary
    This chapter considers the implementation and effect of legislative gender quotas in the 2016 general election, a first for Ireland and a first for the proportional representation by means of the single transferable vote electoral system (PR-STV). It focuses on political parties and examines how they integrated the formal gender quota law into their candidate selection processes. Particular attention is paid to whether the law changed existing candidate selection practices, many of which are guided by informal candidate selection norms, such as a preference for incumbents and those exhibiting localist traits. The chapter concludes that the gender quota law did engender change in the candidate recruitment, selection, and election of women, but, as scholars of feminist institutionalism would describe, the change was â nestedâ and â boundedâ within existing practices surrounding candidate selection, thereby denting but not dismantling the gendered norms of this process.
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    Independents and the party system
    (Oxford University Press, 2021-08-01) Weeks, Liam; Farrell, David M.; Hardiman, Niamh
    The presence of independents in the Irish political system is unusual from a comparative perspective. Sometimes seen as an idiosyncratic phenomenon, they are analysed in terms of their relation to the party system, and categorized in a manner similar to that applied to party families. Why independents do not form parties is analysed from an institutional and behavioural perspective, showing that there are a number of incentives for political entrepreneurs to remain as independents rather than transition to a new party. The nature of support for independents is assessed through a populist lens, considering if independents take the place of populist parties in the electoral marketplace. It is found that independents have more in common with left-wing progressives than right-wing nativists. The final section examines the role of independents in the government formation process, showing that the levels of stability and output are not as low as might be expected.