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Austerity and Recovery in Ireland

In international commentary and debate on the effects of the Great Recession and austerity, Ireland has been hailed as the poster child for economic recovery and regeneration out of deep economic and fiscal contraction. While the genesis of Ireland's financial, economic and fiscal crisis has been covered in the literature, no systematic analysis has yet been devoted to the period of austerity, to the impact of austerity on institutions and people, or to the roots of economic recovery. In this book a group of Ireland's leading social scientists present a multi-disciplinary analysis of recession and austerity and their effects on economic, business, political and social life. Individual chapters discuss the fiscal and economic policies implemented, the role of international, and, in particular, of EU institutions, and the effects on businesses, consumption, work, the labour market, migration, political and financial institutions, social inequality and cohesion, housing and cultural expression. The book shows that Ireland cannot be viewed uncritically as a poster child for austerity. While fiscal contraction provided a basis for stabilizing the perilous finances of the State, economic recovery was due in the main to the long-established structure of Irish economic and business activity, to the importance of foreign direct investment and the dynamic export sector, and to recovery in the international economy. The restructuring and recovery of the financial system was aided by favourable international developments, including historically low interest rates and quantitative easing. Migration flows, nominal wage stability, the protection of social transfer payments and the involvement of trade unions in severe public sector retrenchment - long-established features of Irish political economy - were of critical importance in the maintenance of social cohesion.
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About the Author

William Roche is Professor of Industrial Relations & Human Resources at the School of Business, University College Dublin and Honorary Professor at the Management School, Queen's University, Belfast. He obtained his doctorate from the University of Oxford, where he was Heyworth Memorial Prize Research Fellow of Nuffield College. He has published extensively in leading international peer-reviewed journals in industrial relations and human resource management. His recent books include Managing Conflict at Work: Alternative Dispute Resolution in Ireland (with P. Teague, T. Gormley, and D. Currie, Institute of Public Administration, 2015), The Oxford Handbook of Conflict Management in Organizations (with P. Teague and A. Colvin, OUP, 2014), and Recession at Work: HRM in the Irish Crisis (with P. Teague, A. Coughlan and M. Fahy, Routledge, 2013). Philip J. O'Connell is Director of the UCD Geary Institute and Professor of Applied Social Science at University College Dublin. Most of his work focuses on the labour market and on migration. He has an enduring interest in equality at work and in access to employment, and has published papers on wage inequality, on working conditions and workplace practices, on the transition from unemployment to work, and on the experience of migrant workers in Ireland. He has written several books on the determinants and effects of work-related education and training, and published papers on this and other labour market issues in the leading peer-reviewed journals. He has served as a consultant on human resource development and labour market issues to the European Commission and the OECD. He is a government-appointed member of the Irish Labour Market Council. Andrea Prothero is Associate Professor of Marketing at University College Dublin. Her research focuses primarily on exploring the relationships between marketing and society, with a particular emphasis on sustainability marketing research, and she has published widely in these areas. Prior to moving to Ireland in 1999, Andrea worked at universities in the UK, and also completed a sabbatical at Arizona State University in 2002. She recently led one of UCDs contributions to the President of Ireland's Ethics Initiative, asking students across Ireland to engage in debate focusing on why 'we need to talk about ethics.'


The many strands of ruin and gradual but not complete recovery are dealt with in a style that is both scholarly and accessible. This richness makes it the best overall single-volume assessment of our recent political and social experience. * Paschal Donohoe, Minister for Public Expenditure and Reform, The Irish Times *

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