Financial and economic crisis: explaining the sunset over the Celtic Tiger

Raj Chari (Corresponding Author), Patrick Bernhagen

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24 Citations (Scopus)


This article examines the causes of the financial and economic crisis in the Republic of Ireland. It first reviews the crisis in advanced capitalist democracies and then situates the Irish case in this context. In the section thereafter, it relates existing narratives and other evidence to the different theoretical explanations surveyed by Bernhagen and Chari (in this issue) in order to identify the most useful approaches to explaining the Irish crisis. It concludes that explanations focusing on the role of mass preferences and varieties of capitalism do not aid our efforts to understand the causes of the crisis or how it unfolded. By contrast, an explanation focusing on the role of lobbying is of some value, as are analyses of elite integration and the structural dependence of the Irish state on a thriving financial and property market. The article closes with lessons to be drawn from the study, with a particular emphasis on future policy responses and remedies.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)473-488
Number of pages16
JournalIrish Political Studies
Issue number4
Early online date21 Nov 2011
Publication statusPublished - 2011


  • financial crisis
  • economic crisis
  • Irish banks
  • financial regulation
  • Fianna Fail government
  • developers
  • symbiosis


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