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The politics of fiscal effort in Spain and Ireland: Market credibility versus political legitimacy

  • Sebastian Dellepiane

    (School of Government and Public Policy University of Strathclyde)

  • Niamh Hardiman

    (School of Politics and International Relations University College Dublin)

Austerity measures in response to Eurozone crisis have tended to be conceived, debated, and implemented as if only the technical parameters of budget management mattered. But policies that impose budgetary hardships on citizens, whether in the form of increased taxes or cuts to public spending go right to the heart of voter expectations about what it is both appropriate and acceptable for governments to do. Pro-cyclical measures that worsen an already difficult situation in a recession run counter to deep-seated norms and expectations in European countries, built up over decades of democratic governance, whereby governments are expected to provide offsetting protection for their citizens against the vicissitudes of the market. If austerity measures are held to be unavoidable in response to market turbulence, and especially if this view is underwritten by international authorities, new challenges of political legitimation are likely to arise. These issues are explored through the experiences of Spain and Ireland.

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File URL: http://www.ucd.ie/geary/static/publications/workingpapers/gearywp201321.pdf
File Function: First version, 2013
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Paper provided by Geary Institute, University College Dublin in its series Working Papers with number 201321.

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Length: 40 pages
Date of creation: 26 Nov 2013
Date of revision:
Handle: RePEc:ucd:wpaper:201321
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  1. Blyth, Mark, 2013. "Austerity: The History of a Dangerous Idea," OUP Catalogue, Oxford University Press, number 9780199828302, March.
  2. von Hagen, Jurgen & Strauch, Rolf R, 2001. " Fiscal Consolidations: Quality, Economic Conditions, and Success," Public Choice, Springer, vol. 109(3-4), pages 327-46, December.
  3. Sebastian Dellepiane & Niamh Hardiman, 2011. "Governing the Irish Economy: A Triple Crisis," Working Papers 201103, Geary Institute, University College Dublin.
  4. Culpepper, Pepper D., 2008. "The Politics of Common Knowledge: Ideas and Institutional Change in Wage Bargaining," International Organization, Cambridge University Press, vol. 62(01), pages 1-33, January.
  5. Karl Whelan, 2012. "ELA, Promissory Notes and All That: The Fiscal Costs of Anglo Irish Bank," Working Papers 201206, School of Economics, University College Dublin.
  6. McGuinness, Seamus & Kelly, Elish & O'Connell, Philip J., 2010. "The Impact of Social Partnership on Ireland's Competitiveness," Papers RB2010/3/3, Economic and Social Research Institute (ESRI).
  7. Rodrik, Dani, 2011. "The Globalization Paradox: Why Global Markets, States, and Democracy Can't Coexist," OUP Catalogue, Oxford University Press, number 9780199603336, March.
  8. Sebastian Dellepiane & Niamh Hardiman, 2012. "The New Politics of Austerity: Fiscal Responses to the Economic Crisis in Ireland and Spain," Working Papers 201207, Geary Institute, University College Dublin.
  9. Sebastian Dellepiane Avellaneda & Niamh Hardiman, 2010. "The European Context of Ireland’s Economic Crisis," The Economic and Social Review, Economic and Social Studies, vol. 41(4), pages 473–500.
  10. Blánaid Clarke & Niamh Hardiman, 2012. "Crisis in the Irish Banking System," Working Papers 201203, Geary Institute, University College Dublin.
  11. Roche, William K., 2009. "Social Partnership - From Lemass to Cowen," The Economic and Social Review, Economic and Social Studies, vol. 40(2), pages 183–205.
  12. Callan,Tim & Keane,Claire & Savage,Michael & Walsh,John R., 2012. "Distributional Impact of Tax, Welfare and Public Sector Pay Policies: 2009-2012," Quarterly Economic Commentary: Special Articles, Economic and Social Research Institute (ESRI), vol. 2012(4-Winter ).
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