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Deepening democracy within Ireland's social partnership

Gaynor, Niamh (2009) Deepening democracy within Ireland's social partnership. Irish Political Studies, 24 (3). pp. 303-319. ISSN 1743-9078

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Ireland's social partnership process, now under attack from a number of quarters, has repeatedly been charged with being 'undemocratic' in that it undermines the sovereign position of elected political representatives, with key policy formulation and decision-making taking place in fora outside the institutions of representative democracy. These critiques echo those against new forms of networked governance more globally. A key question therefore is how (and if) democracy may be deepened within social partnership or its potential successor(s). This article addresses this question by employing a post-liberal democratic framework to examine social partnership in practice, and by drawing lessons from another partnership process, Malawi's PRSP. Drawing from Malawi's experience, it is argued that democracy can be deepened within social partnership when governance deliberations and negotiations are conducted under conditions of vibrant public debate and genuine perspective-based representation, and when the communicative and discursive norms are widened to allow for such representation.

Item Type:Article (Published)
Subjects:Social Sciences > Globalization
Social Sciences > Sociology
Social Sciences > Public administration
Social Sciences > Political science
DCU Faculties and Centres:Research Initiatives and Centres > Centre for International Studies (CIS)
DCU Faculties and Schools > Faculty of Humanities and Social Science > School of Law and Government
Official URL:
Use License:This item is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-Share Alike 3.0 License. View License
ID Code:14924
Deposited On:01 Oct 2009 15:03 by Niamh Gaynor. Last Modified 31 Mar 2011 04:02

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