- Preface and Acknowledgements
- List of Figures
- List of Maps
- List of Tables
- List of Text Boxes
- List of Contributors
- Introduction: Subnational Democracy in Europe: Changing Backgrounds and Theoretical Models
- The United Kingdom: Is there Really an Anglo Model?
- Ireland: Halting Steps Towards Local Democracy
- Belgium: A Tale of Regional Divergence?
- The Netherlands: Subnational Democracy and the Reinvention of Tradition
- Luxembourg: The Challenge of Inclusive Democracy in a ‘Local State’
- Germany: Varieties of Democracy in a Federal System
- Austria: From Consensus to Competition and Participation?
- Switzerland: Subsidiarity, Power‐Sharing, and Direct Democracy
- Denmark: Between Local Democracy and Implementing Agency of the Welfare State
- Finland: The Limits of the Unitary Decentralized Model
- Sweden: Party‐dominated Subnational Democracy Under Challenge?
- Norway: The Decline of Subnational Democracy?
- France: Between Centralization and Fragmentation
- Italy: The Subnational Dimension to Strengthening Democracy Since the 1990s
- Spain: The Consolidation of Strong Regional Governments and the Limits of Local Decentralization
- Portugal: Local Democracy in a Small Centralized Republic
- Greece: A Case of Fragmented Centralism and ‘Behind the Scenes’ Localism
- Malta: Local Government: A Slowly Maturing Process
- Cyprus: Political Modernity and the Structures of Democracy in a Divided Island
- Poland: Europeanization of Subnational Governments
- The Czech Republic: Local Government in the Years after the Reform
- Hungary: Remarkable Successes and Costly Failures: An Evaluation of Subnational Democracy
- Slovakia: Local Government: Establishing Democracy at the Grassroots
- Estonia: Challenges and Lessons of the Development of Local Autonomy
- Latvia: Experiments and Reforms in Decentralization
- Lithuania: Brave Enough to Implement Daring Democratic Reforms?
- Slovenia in Transition: Decentralization as a Goal
- Bulgaria: The Dawn of a New Era of Inclusive Subnational Democracy?
- Romania: From Historical Regions to Local Decentralization via the Unitary State
- European Subnational Democracy: Comparative Reflections and Conclusions
- Structure of Subnational Governments in Europe, 2007
- Subnational finances in Europe
- Trust, importance of local/regional government, and levels of corruption in Europe
- Subject Index
- Name Index
Abstract and Keywords
Ireland used to form part of the United Kingdom of Great Britain. After the campaign for Home Rule and the War of Independence, Ireland was partitioned and some of the northern part of the island remained with the UK while majority of the counties formed the Free State. In 1949, the Free State declared itself as a Republic and left the Commonwealth. This history of separating from the UK and gaining independence formed the institutions and political culture of modern Ireland. This article discusses the evolution of the Irish government, particularly local government, since its separation from the Commonwealth. Although Ireland came to form its own political culture, its political and administrative institutions have their origins from the time of British rule. The pattern of installing democracy and the role of the local government, and the defined areas of competence of the local area mirrors that of the typical British approach. Irish local government with its foundations from British local rule is relatively weak, financially incapacitated, and dominated by central government. The political culture of Ireland is dominated by a central government that acts as a principal and which uses the local government as an agent to implement its own policies and programmes with little input from the local government. In sum, the democratic dimension of Irish local government is overridden by its administrative dimension.
John Loughlin is a Fellow of St. Edmund's College and Affiliate Lecturer in the Department of Politics and International Studies at Cambridge University. He also holds Visiting positions at Oxford, Cambridge, Umea University, and the Institut d'Etudes Politiques Aix-en-Provence, as well as numerous other appointments. He is author and editor of over twenty books and numerous articles and book chapters on European territorial governance, as well as an expert of the Council of Europe's Committee of Independent Experts on Regional and Local Democracy.
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