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Title: Collaboration or confrontation? : the effectiveness of Irish disability interest groups in influencing disability policy
Author: O'Sullivan, Mary
Awarding Body: Queen's University Belfast
Current Institution: Queen's University Belfast
Date of Award: 2013
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Interest group involvement in public policy making has long been a topic of interest to researchers. In Ireland, as in other developed democracies, the input of interest groups to public policy making generally and to social policy making in particular is now significant. In an Irish social policy context, an area where there is considerable interest group involvement is disability. The emergence of disability as a social and political issue in Ireland led to the Irish National Disability Strategy in 2004. Interest groups in the Irish disability sector were engaged in the development of the Strategy and their influence in shaping its outcome is the focus of this study. The study analyses the views of twenty seven participants drawn from Irish disability interest groups and disability policy makers for the purpose of answering its research question: what factors make Irish disability interest groups effective in influencing disability policy. An Effectiveness Factor Framework, comprised of nine factors asserted by a number of prior researchers as being conducive to promoting interest group effectiveness, is devised and its applicability to ascertaining the effectiveness of disability interest groups in the context of their influence on the Strategy is examined. The study finds that group leadership. the strategies and tactics deployed by the groups, the social, economic and political environment in which the groups operated, the degree of access the groups had to policy makers and the extent that the groups worked together, are the most important determinants of disability interest group effectiveness in the context of the Strategy. In addition to its specific contribution to the literature on disability interest group effectiveness, this study extends knowledge in the broader area of interest group effectiveness as well as broadening understanding of the Irish social policy making process more generally
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available