Institutional Design and Irish Political Reform


  • Niamh Hardiman University College Dublin


The financial and economic crisis that erupted in 2008 exposed significant weaknesses in Irish decision-making and policy implementing processes. In contrast with other European countries in the grip of crisis, the political system was not fundamentally challenged and the incumbent government held onto power. But confidence in government’s capacity to respond adequately fell to historically low levels. This paper considers institutional shortcomings in three arenas through which policies to deal with the crisis must be managed: the parliamentary system and executive leadership, the structures of public administration, and the institutions through which fiscal policy is made.