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Remaking democracy: Ireland as a role-model the 2019 Peter Mair lecture

Hix, Simon (2020) Remaking democracy: Ireland as a role-model the 2019 Peter Mair lecture. Irish Political Studies, 35 (4). 585 - 601. ISSN 0790-7184

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Identification Number: 10.1080/07907184.2020.1721085


Ireland has experienced many of the (‘demand side') economic and cultural factors that have led to the rise of populism in democracies across the world: a major economic downturn, growing income inequality, and mass immigration. Also, at the individual level, the same socio-demographic characteristics seem to predict populist values in Ireland as in many other countries; with lower income and older Irish voters opposed to immigration, for example. Yet, trust in Irish democracy remains high, and Ireland does not have a radical right populist party. The explanation of Irelands apparent immunity to populism, I suggest, can be found in the way the Irish system of ‘supplemented democracy' (through STV, referendums, and deliberative mini-publics) has allowed for a highly responsive and representative polity. This raises a challenge for the standard views of populism in political science, as it suggests that more attention needs to be paid to political (‘supply-side’) factors that explain populism: of how and why democracy fails or succeeds to respond to potential populist challenges.

Item Type: Article
Official URL:
Additional Information: © 2020 Political Studies Association of Ireland
Divisions: Government
Subjects: J Political Science > JF Political institutions (General)
J Political Science > JN Political institutions (Europe)
J Political Science > JC Political theory
Date Deposited: 12 Feb 2020 15:00
Last Modified: 27 Mar 2024 08:21

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