Politics in the Republic of Ireland

Politics in the Republic of Ireland

Politics in the Republic of Ireland

Politics in the Republic of Ireland


Politics in the Republic of Ireland is now available in a fully revised fourth edition. Building on the success of the previous three editions, it continues to provide an authoritative introduction to all aspects of politics in the Republic of Ireland. Written by some of the foremost experts on Irish politics, it explains, analyses and interprets the background to Irish government and contemporary political processes. Crucially, it brings the student up to date with the very latest developments. New patterns of government formation, challenges to the established political parties, ever-deepening, if sometimes ambivalent, involvement in the process of European integration, a growing role in the politics of Northern Ireland and sustained discussion of gender issues are among these developments - along with evidence, revealed by several tribunals of enquiry, that Irish politics is not as free of corruption as many had assumed.


The first edition of Politics in the Republic of Ireland was published in 1992, and since that time the book has been extensively used as a textbook on Irish Politics courses in universities and colleges in Ireland and elsewhere. It is worth quoting from the preface to the first edition to remind new readers of the thinking behind the original venture:

The aim throughout has been to produce a book that combined real substance and a readable style. It is aimed particularly at undergraduates at third-level institutions, but we hope that it will also meet the needs of the wider public interested in the politics and government of Ireland. In addition, since no country's politics can be understood in isolation, the authors have written their chapters with a comparative (especially a western European) dimension very much in mind. The venerable generalisation that 'Ireland is different', so there is no need to make the effort to compare its politics with those of other countries, is no longer adequate. It is a well-worn observation that Ireland has become a more outward-looking country since the 1950s, and its academic community has not been unaffected by this development. Politics in the Republic of Ireland is among the fruits of these broader horizons.

Evidently this formula found favour with readers, so a second edition was produced in 1993, a third followed in 1999, and the appearance of this edition reflects continued demand for a comprehensive textbook on Irish politics.

When a book runs into a fourth edition, it is tempting to reflect that it has proved itself to be a successful product and to conclude that it requires only minor tinkering to retain its position in the market. However, authors and editors have resisted any such temptation, and we have been determined to ensure that the fourth edition of Politics in the Republic of Ireland is as fresh as the first edition was in 1992. Multi-edition textbooks run the risk of acquiring a patchwork character, with up-to-date facts and figures slotted somewhat uncomfortably into a framework that was appropriate a decade or two ago when the authors were younger and more enthusiastic. We have been

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