Document Type



Available under a Creative Commons Attribution Non-Commercial Share Alike 4.0 International Licence


5.6 POLITICAL SCIENCE, Political science

Publication Details

Journal of the Statistical and Social Inquiry Society of Ireland


Employing the critical juncture theory (CJT), a discursive institutionalist approach, this paper examines the nature of the changes to social partnership policy at the end of the decade of the 2000s. Did these changes constitute a transformation in social partnership policy, or were they a continuation of a previously established policy pathway? The CJT consists of three elements – economic crisis, ideational change, and the nature of the policy change – that must be identified for us to be able to declare with some certainty if the changes to social partnership policy constituted a critical juncture. In this context, ideational change is very important, constituting the intermediating factor between a crisis and the subsequent nature of the policy change. Our findings will help explain the nature of the changes to social partnership policy at this time.