Foreign policy and domestic politics: a study of the 2002 election in the Republic of Ireland
Doyle, John and Connolly, Eileen (2002) Foreign policy and domestic politics: a study of the 2002 election in the Republic of Ireland. Irish Studies in Interntaional Affairs, 13 . pp. 151-166. ISSN 0332-1460
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This article examines the extent to which foreign policy featured in the 2002 general election campaign in the Republic of Ireland. It began with the premise that although foreign policy had not featured prominently in previous elections campaigns the evolving crisis in the peace process in Northern Ireland, coupled with the ongoing debate over the Nice treaty may make foreign policy more likely to be part of the campaign debate and also the subject of party differentiation in 2002. The study reviewed party manifestos, press statements and other aspects of the media campaign. It found clear party differentiation in foreign policy between the parties in their manifestos, however the campaign in the national media was almost devoid of debate on these issues. In analysing the reasons for the absence of debate, the dull and static nature of the campaign is contrasted with the surprising election results. In concludes that although on the surface the absence of engagement on foreign policy in the media appears to concur with the dominant view in the literature that foreign policy in not significant in first order elections inferences can be made that leave the impact of foreign policy on voter behaviour a more open question.
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