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Module Code: POU33032

Module Name: Irish Politics B: Governance in Ireland, Politics in Northern Ireland 2021-22

  • ECTS Weighting: 5
  • Semester/Term Taught: Semester 2
  • Contact Hours: Two 1-hour lectures per week; one 1-hour tutorial per fortnight
  • Module Personnel: Samuel Johnston

Learning Outcomes

On successful completion of this module, students will:

  • have an enhanced understanding of the Irish governmental system
  • be familiar with academic research into Irish politics
  • have gained an understanding of the origins of, central issues in, and interpretations of ‘the Northern Ireland problem’
  • have been encouraged, and ideally have learned, to critically assess the material they encounter

Module Learning Aims

The aim of this module is to deepen students’ understanding not only of the substance of Irish politics, north and south, but also of the academic research that aims to interpret and understand it.

Module Content

The module covers the Irish governmental system, and politics in Northern Ireland.

Topic 1: TDs and their constituency work
Topic 2: Policy-making in Ireland: the role of the government, the civil service, interest groups
Topic 3: Northern Ireland: historical background to problem
Topic 4: Northern Ireland: what is the heart of the problem? Religion, civil rights, colonialism, national identity
Topic 5: Power within the Irish government: position of the Taoiseach
Topic 6: Loyalism: who are the Loyalists; how do they see the world?
Topic 7: Northern Ireland: is it a problem without a solution? The options considered

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Visiting students

This module is OPEN to one-term and full-year visiting students. However, visiting students should bear in mind that this module is not designed as a beginners' guide to Irish Politics or as the equivalent of a summer school course, and that those with little or no prior knowledge of the subject will need to do some initial catching up on the basics. Bear in mind too that many aspects of the politics of the Republic of Ireland were covered in the first term in module POU33021. Reading chapter 1 of the module textbook (Politics in the Republic of Ireland, see below) in advance of term or early in the term is recommended for those with little background knowledge of Irish history. A useful and fairly introductory overview of the country, designed mainly for visiting students, is Eoin O'Malley, Contemporary Ireland (Palgrave Macmillan, 2011). Incoming Socrates / Erasmus / visiting students are required to fulfil the same module requirements, in terms of coursework and exams, as TCD students. Registering for the module implies acceptance of this.

Recommended Reading List

John Coakley and Michael Gallagher (eds), Politics in the Republic of Ireland, 6th edition (Abingdon: Routledge and PSAI Press, 2018).

Jonathan Tonge, The New Northern Irish Politics? (Basingstoke: Palgrave Macmillan, 2005) is a good starting point.

Assessment Details

One essay (1,700 words), counting 25%

One 90-minute exam, counting 75%

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