Fear, Anger and Resignation: It’s Nearly Referendum Day

Before the conventional wisdom sets in stone, a few thoughts on the referendum campaign. First, win or lose, this looks to have been a good campaign for the left of the ‘no’ side. The profile of key Sinn Fein and ULA spokespeople will have been raised significantly as will their political credibility in key sectors ...

The fiscal treaty and the EU’s social bargain

Patrick Kinsella argues in today's Irish Times that opposing the fiscal treaty is not equivalent to opposing the EU. In fact, his critique of the treaty is based on the argument that its narrow focus on budget discipline contradicts the de facto bargain between capital and labour that has guided European integration since the 1950s, ...

Citizens Left out of Plan for EU Reform

While I am second to none in my admiration of Vincent Browne for his willingness to engage with the legal issues raised by the Fiscal Treaty, I would have difficulties with some of the assertions made by him in his article in the Irish Times today. 1) I am unable to see how the Pringle case (or ...

Treaty threatens to widen democratic deficit in EU

In this opinion piece for the Irish Times, I argue that the Fiscal Treaty will exacerbate the existing democratic deficit which characterises European Union politics. The EU already has a significant problem with its 'image' in many member states and Eurobarometer polls demonstrate that support for the integration process has fallen as the economic crisis has ...

Is this the Euro’s make-or-break moment?

This analysis (by NUI Galway economist Alan Ahearne) of what the Greek crisis means for Europe reminds one of the heady days in winter 2011 when Angela Merkl declared her readiness to do "whatever it takes" to preserve the Euro. Ahearne makes a strong argument that saving the Euro will now require politically heroic steps ...

Is the response to the crisis simply stupid?

Much current discussion of the euro crisis focuses on the seeming irrationality or incompetence of decision makers.  For example, Guardian economics editor Larry Elliot says that “there is a failure or an unwillingness to grasp a basic truth about the single currency: it doesn't work”.  While this may be true to a certain extent, one ...

Fiscal treaty referendum is still wide open

The latest poll results, reported in today's Irish Times, show that the outcome of the May 31 referendum is still wide open: many voters are still undecided and given the degree of anti-austerity anger in the country, this could easily upset the 60:40 split in favour of the treaty among those who have decided how ...

Austerity or growth? It’s worse than that

In this new post on politicalscience.ie, Sam Brazys critiques the austerity versus growth framing of economic choices for Europe. He focuses on Ireland but other Eurozone members (think Spain) also face a massive problem of household indebtedness due to mortgage arrears whose implications Eurozone governments are just beginning to face. Not only is there no ...

Institute for International Integration, Trinity College

IIS PUBLIC SYMPOSIUM this evening: Title: "Whither Ireland and the Fiscal Treaty?" Dr. Gavin Barrett, School of Law, UCD & Prof. Terrence McDonough, J.E.Cairnes School of Business & Economics, NUIG & Trinity's Head of School of Social Sciences and Philosophy, Prof. James Wickham Venue: Thomas Davis Theatre, Arts Building, Trinity College Dublin Access to the event is free but ...