Document Type

Conference Paper


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


Political science

Publication Details

Presented at the International Political Science Association (IPSA). July 26th 2016, Poznan, Poland.

Panel: Austerity : Variations, Resistance and Alternatives : The State of Play in 2016


This paper seeks to explore the logic of actually existing austerity and its effects on the development of enterprise policy in the Republic of Ireland. It asks the following question: in what manner has enterprise policy been affected by the Irish experience of austerity? Neoliberal austerity is not merely state parsimony; after all the austerity of post-WWII United Kingdom, with its frugal construction of national health and welfare systems, is far from the austerity advocated by Merkel and Cameron today. In light of this, there are a large number of factors which have led to the unique development of actually existing austerity in the Republic of Ireland, factors such as the small and open nature of the Irish economy and the over-reliance on FDI; yet an obvious factor in understanding austerity is enterprise policy. As the neoliberal mantra goes, without a thriving and innovative private sector from which to collect revenue, the state cannot fund public services; the public sector is thus wholly subsumed by the market which acts as the ultimate arbiter of veridiction in matters of policy. In light of this, the question of how the state fosters enterprise in a climate of austerity is a proposition which merits exploration. Through a corpus linguistic analysis of key policy texts, this paper seeks to uncover the manner in which enterprise policy has been affected in light of the Irish experience of austerity.