Society is an ever-changing forum of public interaction, which economics, politics, cultural and social norms all play a part in shaping. The purpose of this website is to identify and explore these issues, providing a forum for informed debate on and further understanding of the societies in which we live.
The Far-Right in Europe: Nightmare Scenarios and Inevitabilities

The Far-Right in Europe: Nightmare Scenarios and Inevitabilities

Last Sunday Sweden went to the polls to elect its national legislature. The result was the replacement of a minority centre right administration with a minority centre left one. In Europe an occurrence such as this (or its reverse) is generally of only passing interest. On this occasion, however, the...
Islam in Ireland: integration and education

Islam in Ireland: integration and education

Ireland’s Muslim community is relatively unique in Europe, in that the original influx of Muslims from abroad largely comprised of highly educated individuals and their families, for the most part coming to work in the Irish health service or other public sector positions. Unlike in other European states where most...
Scottish independence: beyond identity

Scottish independence: beyond identity

In less than one month’s time Scotland will hold a referendum on independence from the United Kingdom. This referendum was initially expected to yield an easy victory for opponents of independence, and while opinion polls still indicate a lead for the “No” option in the independence debate (of varying strength)...
Housing: replacing the wobbly pillar

Housing: replacing the wobbly pillar

The recent election of Joan Burton as the 11th leader of the Labour party brings hope to its members of a change in the fortunes of their party which faced an electoral nightmare in the local and European elections. But comments made by Burton that ‘a Labour priority in the remainder...
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European Integration and Popular Sentiment

European Integration and Popular Sentiment

Around the time of Jean Claude Junker’s nomination by the European Parliament to serve as President of the Commission, it could frequently be heard that Junker’s brand of euro-federalism was a sort of “relic”. Few believe any longer in the viability of the integrationist project, it was said, and Junker’s appointment served merely to demonstrate...
Media on Gaza: information or speculation?

Media on Gaza: information or speculation?

Media is a powerful tool of information. A look at our screens or a glance through the newspapers can not only provide information on different current events, but can also convey the suffering and plight of individuals across the globe. In recent times, the imagery of Palestinian suffering helped bolster Palestinian solidarity protests worldwide, with...
Stagnation in Northern Ireland requires new interventions

Stagnation in Northern Ireland requires new interventions

It seems as if inter-ethnic, territorial and sectarian tensions have become a global epidemic in recent times. Israeli-Palestinian relations are on a knife-edge, the conflicts in Nigeria and Central African Republic have not been resolved, and there is a feeling that Ukraine is still very much an ongoing affair. And then there is Northern Ireland. While violence...
Modern European social democracy in crisis

Modern European social democracy in crisis

The central question for established centre-left political parties in Western Europe is whether there remains a viable future for traditional social democracy, among whose features we might number support for the mixed economy and the institution of large cash transfers with the aim of redistributing wealth and easing poverty. Recent developments within the aegis of...
Ugly Carnival for the Beautiful Game

Ugly Carnival for the Beautiful Game

The World Cup has arrived. The colour, the pride, the expectation of great things from 22 men on a pitch: it is why we call it the beautiful game! Yet this World Cup, the most expensive in history, has been marred by controversy. Brazil 2014 is not an isolated case. Sport events are no longer merely...
PR-STV and electoral reform in the Republic of Ireland

PR-STV and electoral reform in the Republic of Ireland

The character of high politics in the Republic of Ireland has, as a consequence of the cluster of crises and controversies around the first decade of this century, come under a degree of impeachment. Central to the claims of its accusers is the notion that Irish legislators are not sufficiently national in their outlook, preferring...