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Austerity in the European periphery: the Irish experience


  • Niamh Hardiman

    (School of Politics and International Relations and Geary Institute for Public Policy, University College Dublin)

  • Spyros Blavoukos

    (Athens University of Economics and Business, Athens)

  • Sebastian Dellepiane-Avellaneda

    (School of Government and Public Policy, University of Strathclyde, Glasgow)

  • George Pagoulatos

    (Athens University of Economics and Business, Athens)


Ireland has come to be seen as an exemplary case of the successful practice of austerity, both economically and politically. But these inferences would be misleading. The real story about fiscal adjustments in Ireland is more problematic, the reasons for recovery are more complex, and the political consequences are a good deal more nuanced. This paper sets the Irish experience alongside that of the other Eurozone periphery countries. It argues that these countries’ recovery prospects depend on the EU economic policy framework, but that Ireland’s connections to non-Eurozone economies also shape its growth prospects. Political stability is problematic in all the periphery countries, with the rise of challenger parties articulating values and priorities that may be difficult to accommodate within the current European policy regime. This is connected to a wider problem of the decay of older political identities and loyalties and the emergence of a new legitimation gap for EU member states.

Suggested Citation

  • Niamh Hardiman & Spyros Blavoukos & Sebastian Dellepiane-Avellaneda & George Pagoulatos, 2016. "Austerity in the European periphery: the Irish experience," Working Papers 201604, Geary Institute, University College Dublin.
  • Handle: RePEc:ucd:wpaper:201604

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    References listed on IDEAS

    1. Sebastian Dellepiane & Niamh Hardiman, 2013. "The politics of fiscal effort in Spain and Ireland: Market credibility versus political legitimacy," Working Papers 201321, Geary Institute, University College Dublin.
    2. 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.
    3. Silvia Merler & Jean Pisani-Ferry, 2012. "Sudden Stops in the Euro Area," Review of Economics and Institutions, Università di Perugia, vol. 3(3).
    4. Samuel Brazys & Aidan Regan, 2016. "These Little PIIGS Went to Market: Enterprise Policy and Divergent Recovery in European Periphery," Working Papers 201517, Geary Institute, University College Dublin.
    5. André Sapir & Guntram B. Wolff, 2015. "Euro-area governance: what to reform and how to do it," Policy Briefs 870, Bruegel.
    6. Rory O'Farrell, 2015. "Wages and Ireland’s International Competitiveness," The Economic and Social Review, Economic and Social Studies, vol. 46(3), pages 429-458.
    Full references (including those not matched with items on IDEAS)

    More about this item


    Austerity; fiscal adjustment; Ireland; Eurozone; periphery; recovery; EU economic policy; political stability.;

    JEL classification:

    • F15 - International Economics - - Trade - - - Economic Integration
    • F21 - International Economics - - International Factor Movements and International Business - - - International Investment; Long-Term Capital Movements
    • F55 - International Economics - - International Relations, National Security, and International Political Economy - - - International Institutional Arrangements
    • F68 - International Economics - - Economic Impacts of Globalization - - - Policy
    • N14 - Economic History - - Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics; Industrial Structure; Growth; Fluctuations - - - Europe: 1913-
    • O52 - Economic Development, Innovation, Technological Change, and Growth - - Economywide Country Studies - - - Europe
    • O57 - Economic Development, Innovation, Technological Change, and Growth - - Economywide Country Studies - - - Comparative Studies of Countries
    • P16 - Economic Systems - - Capitalist Systems - - - Political Economy of Capitalism

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