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Reforming DemocracyInstitutional Engineering in Western Europe$
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Camille Bedock

Print publication date: 2017

Print ISBN-13: 9780198779582

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: June 2017

DOI: 10.1093/oso/9780198779582.001.0001

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You Win Some, You Lose Some

You Win Some, You Lose Some

The Various Fortunes of Institutional Reforms in Ireland Since 2011

(p.146) 6 You Win Some, You Lose Some
Reforming Democracy

Camille Bedock

Oxford University Press

In 2011, Ireland seemed to have all the conditions to enable the redesigning of its institutions. The agenda of institutional reform was both imposed upon Irish elites and utilized by them during their campaigns in times of economic crisis and electoral recomposition, but the politicians chose to implement multiple processes of reform separately from each other. Some reforms were conducted primarily by the government, while others were externalized to a device called the Constitutional Convention. The agenda of institutional reforms resulted in three sets of outcomes: one which saw the successful adoption of many small, consensual reforms in the parliament with the support of the parliamentary majority; one where the referendum hurdle proved fatal for (what were initially) consensual reforms driven exclusively by the majority; and one which saw the delegation of the most divisive reforms to an external body, in order to delay the need for a decision.

Keywords:   economic crisis, institutional reforms, majoritarian process, Constitutional Convention, Ireland

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