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Calls for a new Republic during the euro zone crisis in the Republic of Ireland: evidence of a consolidated, imminent, or non-existent democracy

With Dr Bill Kissane (London School of Economics)

Series: Regional Comparison: Taiwan and Ireland in Comparative Perspective

Date: Monday 10 February 2014, 6pm-8pm

Venue: Room G.17, 32 Lincoln's Inn Fields, London School of Economics

Chair: Professor Stephan Feuchtwang (LSE Taiwan Research Programme)

Abstract

Ireland is unusual among those countries in crisis in seeing an IMF bailout and a  succession of austerity budgets introduced without major protests from below. Many lament the fatalism of the population. Nonetheless, there are  calls for political reform and the current government is responsive. What is noticeable is that all these calls and the rhetoric of the  political parties themselves, call for 'a New Republic'. Is this mere rhetoric,  a style of communication, or  a form of populism,  different to many contemporary examples  in its stress on the need for purely constitutional reform but similar in the degree to which it reflects historical patterns of nationalist opposition and dissent.  The paper will consider what such rhetoric tells us about the nature of the Irish state.

About the speaker

Bill Kissane is Associate Professor of Politics at the London School of Economics. He is the author of three books including New Beginnings: constitutionalism and democracy in modern Ireland (UCD Press, 2013) and will publish Beyond Internal War: reconstruction, national identity and armed conflict in Europe, 1918-2011 with Penn Press in 2014.

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