Government - Masters by Research Theses

Permanent URI for this collection


Recent Submissions

Now showing 1 - 5 of 12
  • Item
    Using rational choice theory to explain the effect of the post-2008 financial crisis banking regulatory framework on the banking system in the European Union
    (University College Cork, 2023) Farrington, Patricia Ann; Weeks, Liam
    This research uses rational choice theory to explain the effect of the post-2008 financial crisis EU banking regulatory framework on the banking system in the EU. The objective of the post-2008 financial crisis EU banking regulatory framework is stability in the banking system. However, there are many factors that affect financial stability in the banking system, not regulation alone. Therefore, this objective is a “moving target”. For this reason, this research uses the framework of rational choice theory to assess the post-2008 financial crisis EU banking regulatory framework not solely on its ability to achieve financial stability, but also on its ability to change the rational actions of firms as a public policy instrument. This dissertation concludes that the EU banking regulatory framework is successful as a public policy instrument because the individual rational actions of banks are affected positively in favour of society and towards financial stability in the banking sector.
  • Item
    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.
  • Item
    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.
  • Item
    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.
  • Item
    The influence of interest groups on the system of carbon leakage protection in the European Union’s Emissions Trading System (EU-ETS)
    (University College Cork, 2021-01-15) Goodwin, Niall; Cottey, Andrew
    The research looks at the role interest groups had on the process of forming the final legislation in the basic act of the European Union Emission Trading System (EU ETS), which sets out the parameters for the inclusion of sectors and subsectors on the Carbon Leakage List. By examining the initial proposal of the of the EU ETS Carbon Leakage List, as presented by the European Commission in 2015, and more specifically its Articles 10a and 10b which set out these parameters, and following the legislative process up to the adoption of the legislation in 2017 and its subsequent publication in the Official Journal of the EU in 2018, the research aims to demonstrate the level of influence interest groups have on the formulation of EU legislation. More specifically, the research question examines the role the interest groups representing relevant industries have had on the European Parliament in its work on Articles 10a and 10b of the ETS legislation and proposes that one of the factors for the adopted changes at the European Parliament level could have been lax transparency regulations concerning the work and influence of interest groups.