On Friday November 11th, the Institute of International Affairs hosted its 10th lecture on the European Dialogues Seminar Series-European Integration. The institute invited Dr. Peadar Kirby, Professor of International Politics and Public Policy at University of Limerick, Ireland to give a lecture on the impacts on Irish politics of the collapse of the Celtic Tiger boom and the financial crisis. His newly published book, Towards a Second Republic: Politics after the Celtic Tiger was the main focus of the lecture where it examined the political reform agenda of the coalition government that took office in March 2011 but broadened this to examine the possibilities of a change in the political economy model that underpinned the Irish boom. It places these in the context of the dramatic change in Irish political party representation that resulted from the February 2011 general election and the EC/ECB/IMF bailout package that constrains the room for manoeuvre of the Irish state.The lecture was held Friday, November 11 in Oddi 201.
As of November 11 2011, a working paper, Financial crises in Iceland and Ireland: Does EU and Euro membership matter?, written by Professor Baldur Þórhallsson and Professor Paedar Kirby was published in Iceland and Ireland. The paper focuses on the collapse of the banking system in Iceland and Ireland in 2008, the impacts on economy and society in the aftermath of the collapse and the measures taken by political authorities in each country, specifically on how they are dealing with the crises. The difference here is that while Ireland is part of EU and the Eurozone and has the Euro as its currency, Iceland is not a member of EU and uses its own devalued currency. Little attention has been devoted to the role of membership of the EU, whether it is Ireland’s membership and its use of the Euro or in Iceland’s lack of membership. Thus, the report focuses on the issues at hand, bearing in mind the importance of small states who have gone through very similar crises.
On another note, as of November 8th, Professor Kirby has now become a visiting adjunct at the University of Iceland for the next two years.