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Title: The institutional development of the Irish Department of Finance - 1997-2011
Author: Ward , Tom
Awarding Body: Queen's University Belfast
Current Institution: Queen's University Belfast
Date of Award: 2013
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This study examines the institutional development of the Irish Department of Finance both as part of Government and internally between 1997 and 2011. Using the framework provided by historical institutionalism and its account of the dynamics of institutional change it identifies and analyses formal and informal institutional changes which impacted upon the Department's influence in Government. In also includes an examination of institutional changes prior to 1997 which created enduring historical legacies which continued to impact on the Department's position and influence in Government in a path dependent manner. The study consciously adopts a 'moving picture' approach to the analysis of institutional change and seeks out instances of both punctuated and gradual change where often these tend to be examined in isolation. In this regard, it builds on Streeck and Thelen's (2005) and Mahoney & Thelen's (2010) typologies of institutional evolutionary change to present a single framework for analysing change, whether punctuated or gradual. The study's primary data emanated from 15 semi-structured interviews with elites who occupied key positions in the core executive in Ireland. They include former Taoisigh, Secretaries General, Cabinet members and political advisors. Their first-hand accounts provide a unique insight into a critical period in Irish Government. The study's findings illustrate the impact of formal and informal institutional change on the Department of Finance, some being punctuated changes, others gradual (or incremental) and that multiple change inducing variables were at play. An underlying theme which emerges from the research is that the Department of Finance institutionally drifted within the core executive for much of the period, but that the triple crises from 2008 onwards led to a re-setting of power relations in Government back in the Department of Finance 's favour, although in a new paradigm involving a proximate role for external actors in Irish domestic affairs.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available