Government and Politics

The Irish parliament - the Oireachtas - is nearing the centenary year of its foundation, making it one of the oldest continuously surviving parliaments in the world. As the most important national institution in the state, it plays an essential role in giving voice to a diversity of views and opinions, providing stable governments, approving law and national budgets and upholding democratic values. For much of its existence, however, and most pointedly in the context of recent banking and economic crises, it has been subject to criticism concerning its ability to adequately hold the executive to account, to act as a coherent policy-making forum, to meet the challenges arising from European Union membership, to embrace wide-ranging reforms and to develop with purpose and ambition.

This comprehensive new volume considers all aspects of the Houses of the Oireachtas - including their evolution, composition, organisation, financing, administration and reform. Contributors include academics, administrators and sitting and former parliamentarians. Contemporary challenges brought about by transformations in media style, increased inter-parliamentarism and the changing character of politics are also addressed. The book questions a number of assumptions about parliament and its work, including the efficacy of the legislative and budgetary processes, the nature of executive-legislative relations and the perceived encroachment of the courts on the legislature. Combined, this wide-ranging and detailed study fills a long-standing void, and provides essential reading not alone for those interested in Irish politics and government, but also for students and scholars of legislative studies.

Contents:

1. Introduction
Muiris MacCarthaigh and Maurice Manning

2. Houses of the Oireachtas: Background and Early Development
Maurice Manning

3. The Role of the Houses of the Oireachtas: Theory and Practice 
Muiris MacCarthaigh

4. The Constitutional Parameters of the Work of the Houses
Lia O’Hegarty

5. Membership of the Houses 
Liam Weeks

6. Parliamentary Parties and the Party Whips
Michael Gallagher

7. The Senate
Maurice Manning

8. An Ceann Comhairle
Tom O’Connor

9. Advising and Serving the Houses: From Clerk to Chief Executive
Kieran Coughlan and Elaine Gunn

10. The Houses of the Oireachtas Commission
Elaine Gunn

11. Staff of the Houses of the Oireachtas
Conan McKenna

12. Supporting Parliament: Oireachtas Library and Research Services
Madelaine Dennison

13. Procedure in the Dáil
Richard Caffrey

14. The Committee System
Shane Martin

15. Committee Inquiries
Art O’Leary

16. Parliamentary Scrutiny of Bills
John O’Dowd

17. Financial Oversight
Philip Hamell

18. Parliamentary Scrutiny of Departments and Agencies
Muiris MacCarthaigh

19. The Houses of the Oireachtas in the European Union and other International Organisations 
Patricia Conlan

20. Reporting the Oireachtas: Irish Political and Parliamentary Journalism since 1922 
Kevin Rafter

21. The Role of the Public Representative in Today’s Oireachtas
Michael D. Higgins TD

22. Parliamentary Reform 
Muiris MacCarthaigh and Maurice Manning

The Houses of the Oireachtas: Parliament in Ireland

The Irish parliament - the Oireachtas - is nearing the centenary year of its foundation, making it one of the oldest continuously surviving parliaments in the world. As the most important national institution in the state, it plays an essential role in giving voice to a diversity of views and opinions, providing stable governments, approving law and national budgets and upholding democratic values. For much of its existence, however, and most pointedly in the context of recent banking and economic crises, it has been subject to criticism concerning its ability to adequately hold the executive to account, to act as a coherent policy-making forum, to meet the challenges arising from European Union membership, to embrace wide-ranging reforms and to develop with purpose and ambition.

This comprehensive new volume considers all aspects of the Houses of the Oireachtas - including their evolution, composition, organisation, financing, administration and reform. Contributors include academics, administrators and sitting and former parliamentarians. Contemporary challenges brought about by transformations in media style, increased inter-parliamentarism and the changing character of politics are also addressed. The book questions a number of assumptions about parliament and its work, including the efficacy of the legislative and budgetary processes, the nature of executive-legislative relations and the perceived encroachment of the courts on the legislature. Combined, this wide-ranging and detailed study fills a long-standing void, and provides essential reading not alone for those interested in Irish politics and government, but also for students and scholars of legislative studies.

Contents:

1. Introduction
Muiris MacCarthaigh and Maurice Manning

2. Houses of the Oireachtas: Background and Early Development
Maurice Manning

3. The Role of the Houses of the Oireachtas: Theory and Practice 
Muiris MacCarthaigh

4. The Constitutional Parameters of the Work of the Houses
Lia O’Hegarty

5. Membership of the Houses 
Liam Weeks

6. Parliamentary Parties and the Party Whips
Michael Gallagher

7. The Senate
Maurice Manning

8. An Ceann Comhairle
Tom O’Connor

9. Advising and Serving the Houses: From Clerk to Chief Executive
Kieran Coughlan and Elaine Gunn

10. The Houses of the Oireachtas Commission
Elaine Gunn

11. Staff of the Houses of the Oireachtas
Conan McKenna

12. Supporting Parliament: Oireachtas Library and Research Services
Madelaine Dennison

13. Procedure in the Dáil
Richard Caffrey

14. The Committee System
Shane Martin

15. Committee Inquiries
Art O’Leary

16. Parliamentary Scrutiny of Bills
John O’Dowd

17. Financial Oversight
Philip Hamell

18. Parliamentary Scrutiny of Departments and Agencies
Muiris MacCarthaigh

19. The Houses of the Oireachtas in the European Union and other International Organisations 
Patricia Conlan

20. Reporting the Oireachtas: Irish Political and Parliamentary Journalism since 1922 
Kevin Rafter

21. The Role of the Public Representative in Today’s Oireachtas
Michael D. Higgins TD

22. Parliamentary Reform 
Muiris MacCarthaigh and Maurice Manning

By: Muiris MacCarthaigh and Maurice Manning ISBN: 978-1-904541-93-6

Published: Tuesday 11, January 2011. 520 Pages


€45.00

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