RADICAL OR REDUNDANT? MINOR PARTIES IN IRISH POLITICS edited by Liam Weeks (UCC) and Alistair Clark (Newcastle University) (History Press Ireland, Dublin, 2012)

This book examines the fortunes of small political parties in Ireland and asks why no new party has yet emerged. While the type of minor political party in Ireland has varied, their fate, it seems, has not. Although some enjoy a brief time in the sun, termination would appear to be the long-term prospect for all minor parties. The usual pattern is a speedy ascent, an impact on the political system including a time in government, followed by a prolonged death. This book examines this pattern of evolution for the smaller parties in Irish politics.

As the Irish state has changed, so too have the types of parties that have emerged. With the first-time entry of the Greens into government in 2007, their wipe-out in 2011, the dissolution of the Progressive Democrats in 2009, and the failure of a new party to emerge despite the ongoing financial crisis, the time is ripe for this analysis.

Contributors include Des O’Malley, founder of the Progressive Democrats, Dan Boyle, former Green TD and Senator, Catherine Murphy TD, and a range of Ireland’s leading political scientists, including John Coakley, Gary Murphy, Kevin Rafter and Eoin O’Malley.

The book is available from Easons, most bookstores and Its RRP is €20.

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