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Irish Politics

Module Code: PO3630

Module Name: Irish Politics 2017–18

  • ECTS Weighting: 10
  • Semester/Term Taught: full academic year 2017–18
  • Contact Hours: 2 lectures per week; 1 tutorial per fortnight
  • Module Personnel: Lecturer - Professor Michael Gallagher (MT)

Handouts, readings and module information are available from the module's Blackboard page. The module has an on-line noticeboard here (accessible from TCD computers only) with even more information for current students about the module schedule, handouts, downloadable readings, deadlines etc. See related pages for PO363B and PO363C.

Learning Outcomes

On successful completion of this module, students will:

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

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 first part of the module covers political culture, the constitution, elections and electoral behaviour, and parties and the party system. The second part covers the main political institutions – primarily government and parliament – policy-making, plus Ireland and the EU. The third section deals with politics in Northern Ireland.

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Visiting students

This module is OPEN to full-year visiting students (1-term visiting students may take PO363B if here for the first term only, PO363C if here for the second term only). 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. 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 is Eoin O'Malley, Contemporary Ireland (Palgrave Macmillan, 2011). Incoming Socrates / Erasmus and other non-TCD 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).

Eoin O’Malley, Contemporary Ireland (Basingstoke: Palgrave Macmillan, 2011) is a general and lively introduction to Ireland, including history and society as well as politics, designed particularly for visiting students

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

More readings in detailed course handout.

Assessment Details

For year-long students (10 credits): 2 essays, each counting 12.5%; 1 exam, counting 75%.

For 1-term students (5 credits): 2 essays, each counting 50%; see the relevant module pages (PO363B and PO363C).

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