Which Path Ahead?

Perspectives on Policy from Irish Social Science


The Atrium, Department of Justice, 76 St. Stephen's Green, Dublin 2 10:00 :: 11th May 2016

Since 2008, Ireland has experienced a painful period of recession and austerity as the country sought to deal with the wider consequences of the national and international fiscal crisis in the property and banking sectors. During these years there has been a great deal of reflection on the reasons why Ireland’s economy and society was so vulnerable to the fiscal crisis and the effects that certain policy choices during the economic boom of 1995-2008 may have had on the likelihood and depth of the subsequent crash. More urgently still, Ireland’s history of a series of recoveries from crisis has always lead back to a new, different crisis. How might this cycle be broken?

One force that be mobilised to help design a better and stronger recovery and avoid ‘the next crisis’ is the high quality social science research undertaken in Ireland. Historically, the research which is produced is only partially integrated into the policy development process and ongoing engagement between researchers and policy makers can be weak or inconsistent.
Social science can make many contributions to policy debate, including:
* The provision of detailed research analysis to inform policy choices
* A diverse set of perspectives, within and across disciplines, on policy debates
* A strong comparative and historical perspective that allows well informed learning from other countries’ experiences
* The representation of perspectives and experiences that may get lost in the conventional policy process.

In the right circumstances, high quality social science can improve analysis and transparency, the diversity of views, as well as the range of options considered and of voices heard. With signs of economic recovery emerging, now is a good time to bring together Irish social scientists with policy makers and civil society in the hope that a sustained discussion around their varied perspectives can be harnessed to enrich Irish public policy in the years to come.

On the 11th of May, 2016, The Irish Social Science Platform in collaboration with the National Economic and Social Council will hold a day-long conference which will showcase ten outstanding pieces of Irish social science research which have important policy implications. A series of research papers exploring the policy options available in Ireland, in key areas, will be presented. In the process, the potential for new research collaborations and networks can be explored.

The audience will be composed of academics, policy makers, politicians, NGO’s, community groups and professionals from across diverse range of areas, all with the aim of enriching engagement and bringing new insights and empirical analysis to bear on complex public policy issues.

Advance booking is essential for this event – tickets are available on Eventbrite

All Welcome



ISSP Sponsors: