April 2013

A new paper on housing and the Irish crisis has just been published in New Political Economy by Julien Mercille: “The Role of the Media in Sustaining Ireland’s Housing Bubble”.  It seems to be open access to download from the journal page.  There is also a short piece about it here.  This is the abstract:

This paper examines Irish mainstream media coverage of the housing bubble that burst in 2007 and plunged Ireland into economic and financial crisis. It is shown that news organisations largely sustained the bubble until the property market collapsed. As such, news stories reflected the views and interests of the Irish corporate and governmental sectors, which had adopted neoliberal policies during the ‘Celtic Tiger’ years (1990s to 2007). A political economic conceptualisation of the Irish media outlines four factors explaining why this is so: (1) news organisations have multiple links with the political and corporate establishment, of which they are part, thus sharing similar interests and viewpoints; (2) just like elite circles, they hold a neoliberal ideology, dominant during the boom years; (3) they feel pressures from advertisers, in particular, real estate companies; and (4) they rely heavily on ‘experts’ from elite institutions in reporting events. The last section presents a detailed empirical analysis of Irish media coverage (newspapers and television) of the housing bubble that confirms the above claims. It is shown that prior to the bubble’s collapse, the media made little mention of it, remained vague about it or tried to refute claims that it even existed, thus sustaining it.


S02642751Paper examining the residential preferences of creative and knowledge workers in Dublin (by Philip Lawton, Enda Murphy and Declan Redmond) published in Cities  (Vol 31, April 2013) available on the UCD Research Repository. Click here for PDF

Abstract. The desire for ‘vibrant’, ‘bohemian’ neighbourhoods forms a focal point of the amenity preferences of Richard Florida’s ‘creative class’ thesis. Here, a vibrant street culture, which includes cafes and restaurants spilling on to the pavement, is implied as being of key importance in the selection of a residential area for creative and knowledge workers. Drawing on quantitative and qualitative data, this paper examines the residential preferences of the ‘creative class’ in Dublin, Ireland. The results illustrate the continued importance of classic factors in residential decision-making, including housing cost, accessibility and travel-time to place of employment. Moreover, the results also illustrate how changes in the life-cycle, including the decision to have a family, have a direct influence on their residential location choice. While there is a tendency for younger workers to select the city centre, older workers predominantly opt to live in suburban areas with good transport connections to the city centre or their place of employment.

struggles in commonWhat is the political significance of the commons today?



DIT Mountjoy Square, Dublin 1

Struggles in Common: A day of talks and discussions organised by the provisional university featuring acclaimed historian Peter Linebaugh, author of The Magna Carta Manifesto

This event is open to the public and admission is free but booking is advised. RSVP:commonsevent@gmail.com


Across Europe, the dominant response to the financial crisis has been an attack on social life. National governments have adopted policies of severe austerity, resulting in cuts across all aspects of social welfare (health, education, payments to the unemployed) as well as the privatization of public resources (third level education, water, transport). While these policies are carried out by elected governments, they reflect the erosion of democracy and the concentration of power in the hands of financial and European elites.

Against these attacks, people have sought to defend their social rights and the non-market value of vital public resources and services. Recognizing the double crisis in the economy and democracy, alternative social and political experiments have thus emerged. These experiments have recalled the history of the commons and the radical promise it holds for a future beyond the state and capitalism.

This day-long event brings together collectives and individuals involved in excavating the history and contemporary significance of the commons. The purpose is to share our experiences and knowledge in order to develop the concept of the commons in a manner which is directly related to the present political conjecture. The event includes a talk by acclaimed historian Peter Linebaugh and contributions from research collectives based in Spain, Ireland, USA and the U.K.

Location: DIT, Mountjoy Square, Dublin 1


For more information: provisionaluniversity@wordpress.com

Speakers include:

Peter Linebaugh is Professor of History at the University of Toledo. He is the author of The Magna Carta Manifesto and co-author (with Marcus Rediker) of the Many-Headed Hydra: The Hidden History of the Revolutionary Atlantic. He is also a member of the Midnight Notes Collective.

Amanda Huron is a researcher and activist based in Washington D.C. She has been working with housing cooperatives in Washington D.C. as well as an “undocumented” (i.e. unlicensed) community radio station.

Observatorio Metropolitano are an activist research group formed by activists and professionals from different fields. They provide critical analyses of the fundamental lines of transformation in the contemporary metropolis. Their most recent book is Crisis and Revolution in Europe.http://www.observatoriometropolitano.org/

Plan C is a UK based political organisation made up of people who are politically active in their workplaces and communities. They work together to support each other, amplify their struggles and think strategically.http://www.weareplanc.org/

Seoidín O’Sullivan is an artist and educator. Her case studies focus on people joining together in action to protect or develop an aspect of their local commons. Her work addresses issues of land use, lost knowledge and biodiversity.

The Free Association are a writing collective loosely based in Leeds. They are the authors of Moments of Excess. http://freelyassociating.org/

The Provisional University are an autonomous research and educational collective based in Dublin. They carry out research and organize educational activities which strengthen social movements and create discussion outside the academic institution. http://provisionaluniversity.wordpress.com/

Update: Please note that the venue for this event has been changed from O’Connell House to DIT, Mountjoy Square, Dublin 1. 

Understanding the Changing Worlds of Capitalism:
New Perspectives on the Political Economy of Work, Production and Employment Regimes

A Research Conference
NIRSA/ Sociology
May 1st 2013, Renehan Hall, NUI Maynooth

Sponsored by the European Research Council and the Irish Research Council

The various forms of capitalism are in crisis, as are many of the theories that have dominated understandings of capitalism in recent decades.  This conference draws together leading international scholars to examine changing European capitalisms, with a particular focus on how the organisation of work, employment and production regimes is changing. We explore how theories must shift to account for changing capitalisms.

Speakers include Dorothee Bohle, Rossella Ciccia, Bernhard Ebbinghaus, Eoin Flaherty, Béla Greskovits, Peer Hull Kristensen, Frances McGinnity, Lars Mjoset, Mary Murphy, Seán Ó Riain, Luis Ortiz, Karen Shire, Markus Tünte.

Full programme and information here.

The conference explores a variety of theories of political economy (e.g. Polanyian, institutionalist, pragmatist); different forms of capitalism in Europe (liberal, Christian democratic, social democratic, post-socialist, Mediterranean); and various institutions shaping work (e.g. welfare regimes, industrial relations, family, transnational work and technological change).

Registration is free but places are limited.

Please register here.

Enquiries to newdeals@nuim.ie

Click here for information on how to get to NUI Maynooth Campus by road or rail

3-6 pm, Thursday April 25th 2013
Institute of Bankers, 1 North Wall Quay, Dublin 1
Sponsored by NUI Maynooth (NIRSA/ Sociology) and UCD Geary Institute

Globalisation, regional economic clusters, open systems of innovation, financialisation, legal restrictions on state aid and a range of other factors appeared to have consigned industrial policy and the developmental state to history. However, as economies struggle to restore growth and seek models of sustainable prosperity, there is renewed interest in the role of public institutions in promoting industrial and regional development. Moreover, recent decades have seen significant experiments with new forms of ‘old’ institutions – ranging across the industrial development agencies of Israel and Taiwan, the state investment banks of Germany and Brazil and the diverse network of agencies promoting innovation in the US.

This workshop explores the new forms of industrial and innovation policy that have emerged in recent decades. It examines their distinctive features, limitations and potential and asks what futures there might be for a developmental role for public institutions.

3-4.20 Public Institutions, Innovation and Growth in the Knowledge Economy
Chair: Seán Ó Riain, Sociology/ NIRSA, NUI Maynooth

Danny Breznitz, College of Business, Georgia Tech
“The Diverse Paths to Rapid-Innovation-Based Growth: The Strategic Role of the State”

Shiri Breznitz, School of Public Policy, Georgia Tech
“The Fountain of Knowledge? University Technology Transfer and Economic Development”

4.45-6 Round-table Discussion
The Role of the State in Development Strategies in a Changing Economic Landscape
Chair: Niamh Hardiman, Geary Institute and SPIRe, UCD

Short contributions from the following will be followed by discussion.
Seán Ó Riain, Sociology/ NIRSA, NUI Maynooth
Philip O’Connell, Geary Institute, UCD
Aphra Kerr, Sociology/ NIRSA, NUI Maynooth
Patrick Paul Walsh, School of Politics and International Relations, UCD

The workshop is funded by the European Research Council and the Irish Research Council for the Humanities and Social Sciences. It is sponsored by the ‘New Deals in the New Economy’ project at NUI Maynooth (NIRSA/ Sociology) and ‘The Political Economy of the European Periphery’ at UCD Geary Institute.

Registration is free but places are limited. To register please email geary@ucd.ie  with the subject line “Industrial Policy” before Monday April 22nd.

Information on Venue and Transport is available here