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Politics Participation and Power

by Deiric Ó Broin and Mary P. Murphy

Irish democracy is facing a crisis. Trust in public institutions, politicians and policy-making is at an all-time low. The collapse of the Irish economy and the nature of the political response have shattered many citizens' belief in the efficacy of politics. This book argues that meaningful public participation is central to the development of a new approach to democracy in Ireland. By reviewing the current state of public participation in Ireland across a range of policy areas and offering a critical examination of both the discourse and practice of participation as well as degrees of equality in opportunities for participation, the book highlights how many public policy processes are perceived to lack legitimacy, why these perceptions exist and how this can be addressed. Politics, Participation and Power offers an insightful account of the dynamics of participation and suggests why many citizens' experiences have been frustrating as well as transformative. It ultimately argues for a strengthening of the Irish public sphere. This book will be essential reading for students of politics, sociology, local development, public administration, public policy and spatial planning and offers important insights for those directly engaged in developing participation initiatives in Ireland.

Praise for "Politics, Participation and Power"

This timely volume provides a comprehensive exploration of participatory processes in Ireland, from expert academic and practitioner perspectives, through the lens of partnership, poverty, policy making and public spheres. Making a valuable and welcome  contribution to our understanding of policy making in Ireland it is set to become a key source for those interested in strengthening the public sphere, enhancing participatory citizenship and advancing deep political reform.
Dr. Clodagh Harris, Chairperson PSAI Participatory and Deliberative Democracy Specialist Group,Department of Government, UCC

‘Politics, Participation and Power’ is an informative and thought-provoking survey of the wide range of ways that popular political participation in Ireland has been stimulated, frustrated, manipulated and occasionally advanced in the last half-century. It is a valuable resource for anyone interested in mobilising truly democratic action for the sake of promoting a better, more equal Ireland.
Professor John Baker, School of Social Justice, UCD

In the midst of an economic and social crisis, this book is extraordinarily timely. ‘Politics, Participation and Power’ digs deep to examine what is really happening in power relationships, poverty and social partnership in contemporary Ireland. Its fresh thinking and analysis challenge all those concerned with the future of civil society, protest, community development and democratic politics.
Brian Harvey, Independent Social Researcher

Book Details:

Price:  €20.00 / STG £18.00 / $20.00

Size: 229x152mm

Binding: PB

ISBN-13: 978‐1‐9086891-9-1

Pages: 186

Release date: 15th April 2013

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