Maman Poulet | Clucking away crookedly through media, politics and life

Towards a Second Republic – Giveaway/Review

November 28th, 2011 · 18 Comments · Equality, Irish Politics, Social Policy

Towards a Second Republic: Irish Politics after the Celtic Tiger, by Peadar Kirby and Mary P. Murphy was published earlier this month and is surely to become a key text for students of Irish Politics and the broader social sciences.

The book initially examines the impact of the Celtic Tiger both it’s development and operation on all parts of Irish society.  The authors look at the cyclical nature of boom and bust and its impact on the lives of people socially and economically.  In terms of equality and societal impact of the economic system the book questions the nature of the Irish state and the values if any that have been attached to statehood. They show who won and who lost in the first republic and it’s latest collapse.  There are frequent illustrations of who never won anything at all including people with disabilities, those living in areas of socio-economic discrimination and women.  Power was ceded to markets, new elites were created and centralised.

There are examination on recent debates on political reform and whether anything will come from them and what is is needed for real reform in Ireland which might lead us towards a second republic. (Political reform cannot happen in isolation to economic or social reforms and this has been a noticeable deficit in the discussions to date which many political scientists have engaged in or led. )  The programme for government is examined for any possibilities for more equal participation and benefits for those who have been excluded.

There is reflection on the role of civil society, left wing and progressive movements and political parties and they argue that the biggest challenge lies with the civil society movement rather than political parties.  A movement which as I’ve commented on before is riven with splits, financial controls of funders and failure to develop key messages.  The added impact of professionalisation and exclusion of those who are claimed to be represented is also critical in the challenges to be faced by this sector.

Many of the texts written to date on why we are in the state we are in do not look at the impact of the collapse on people or examine the structures created to manage people.  Mainly it has been reflection on what happened to buildings and those who built them and those that funded them.  This text remedies this hugely and will be essential reading not only for formal students of Irish Studies and the social sciences but also those interested in making a change and being part of the change in the nature of the discussions on austerity and the type of society we wish to live in.

I have a copy of the book which I would like to give to a blog reader.  If you are interested in winning it why not leave a comment with your email (which is hidden) and I will do a draw on December 5th.

Towards a Second Republic is published by Pluto Press.

There will be further book reviews and give-aways in the coming weeks. If you are an author or publisher and have a book that you think would be of interest to me or my readers please don’t hesitate to email me at tips (AT)



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