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From exclusion to inclusion? Reflections on the Celtic tiger

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posted on 2013-07-22, 10:33 authored by Maura Adshead, CHRIS MCINERNEYCHRIS MCINERNEY
International (Considine & Giguere 2008) and Australian (Smyth, Reddel & Jones 2005) interest in the place of associations and partnerships to create more inclusive governance forms continues unabated. In this paper we trace the evolution of Irish partnership approaches by providing a brief summary of ‘flagship’ partnership initiatives and the primary influences that led to their creation. In doing so, we note that there were a variety of external and internal impetuses towards partnership— at European, national and sub-national levels of government—which manifested themselves in different partnership projects at these different levels. As a result, despite sharing many common attitudes and approaches, these partnership initiatives inevitably reflected different policy aims and ambitions. The consequences for changes to Irish governmental systems were twofold. On the one hand, the fact that partnership was simultaneously promoted in a variety of government levels and policy arenas meant that its impact was widely felt across the system. On the other hand, this widespread experience of partnership served to reinforce a broader paradigm shift in organisation of public policy (which has subsequently been interpreted as an attitudinal and value shift in favour of partnership). As a result we argue that it is possible to conceive of the institutionalising of partnership approaches. Still, this institutionalisation is a process whereby we are seeing a gradual convergence of various partnership approaches into one generalised model. We argue that this convergence (the one partnership approach fits all), while simplifying governance arrangements, raises significant concerns regarding the efficacy and legitimacy of new governance approaches which themselves may prove counter-productive to the original aims of partnership.

History

Publication

Social Policy Working Paper No.10;

Publisher

Brotherhood of St.Laurence & Centre for Public Policy, Univesity of Melbourne

Note

peer-reviewed

Language

English

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