Society is an ever-changing setting of public interaction, shaped by altering economic, political, cultural and social environments. The purpose of this website is to identify and explore these issues, providing a forum for informed debate on and a further understanding of the societies we live in.
'Why should surfers be fed?' Unconditional Basic Income in Ireland

‘Why should surfers be fed?’ Unconditional Basic Income in Ireland

With a General Election imminent, testing social issues are sure to be voiced readily over the coming months in both party manifestos and general public discourse. One topic that will certainly take centre stage in the upcoming debates is the issue of social deprivation and how to best combat economic poverty...
The end of Schengen and the Euro dream? Europe’s crisis of consensus

The end of Schengen and the Euro dream? Europe’s crisis of consensus

A European project which set out with the intention of complete convergence and policy harmonization has ironically, resulted in widespread divergence and disharmony.
Individualistic Homelessness: Housing the roofless

Individualistic Homelessness: Housing the roofless

While decriminalising drug possession is a simplistic and ultimately self-defeating approach (a topic to be addressed in a future article), it must also be realised that incarceration is not a suitable response to dealing with social problems such as narcotic abuse, and will ultimately only succeed in increasing rooflessness, itself...
Structural Homelessness: Life on hold

Structural Homelessness: Life on hold

In 2008, the Department of the Environment, Heritage and Local Government released the strategy document, titled The Way Home: A Strategy to Address Adult Homelessness in Ireland, 2008-2013, providing a positive vision on the future status of homelessness by stating that: “From 2010, long term homelessness (i.e. the occupation of...
Latest entries
Syrian crisis: Pragmatism in the face of suffering

Syrian crisis: Pragmatism in the face of suffering

There is a clear sense that the current crisis is a knee-jerk, short-sighted response to the crisis, a reaction to public pressures arising from the inflow of migrants into Europe as opposed to the actual cause of the displacement. Widespread public sympathy for the plight of migrants exists; itself in part generated by emotionally charged imagery...
Unity in Diversity? The European Migrant Crisis

Unity in Diversity? The European Migrant Crisis

In order to comprehensively deal with the unfolding migrant crisis in the long-term, our compassion and empathy must not overshadow room for sustainable solutions, which would in turn jeopardise the quality of life for the refugees and migrants in question. This article aims to emphasise the importance of collective compassion and sympathy, while simultaneously advocating for...
Elections in Canada: Harper's last bow?

Elections in Canada: Harper’s last bow?

It is certain that the slowdown in the Chinese economy will have far-reaching political repercussions. Across the world, countries reliant on the export of natural resources and commodities are about to enter a period of economic turbulence due to the decline in Chinese demand, with corresponding electoral fallout for those in power. The exemplar here...
Part-time work: lessons from the Polder model

Part-time work: lessons from the Polder model

In the cases of Ireland and the United Kingdom, the welfare of workers is largely evaluated on the basis of occupational status and earnings. The implication of this is that part-time jobs are widely regarded as sub-standard jobs, deviating from the ‘norm’ of full-time work by which worker welfare and self-actualisation are often measured. Indeed,...
Ending Extreme Poverty: The Case for Relative vs. Absolute

Ending Extreme Poverty: The Case for Relative vs. Absolute

In perhaps the most memorable anti-poverty speech of our time Nelson Mandela remarked “Overcoming poverty is not a task of charity; it is an act of justice. Like Slavery and Apartheid, poverty is not natural. It is man-made and it can be overcome and eradicated by the actions of human beings. Sometimes it falls on...
A floating dilemma: the Mediterranean crisis

A floating dilemma: the Mediterranean crisis

Amnesty International reported July 2014 that at least 2,600 individuals had died attempting to cross the Mediterranean since 2011. In the nine month period between October 2013 and June the following year, 43,430 would be migrants were rescued by the Italian Navy as part of Operation Mare Nostrum, a rescue initiative which cost the Italian...
Curing the Health System: UHI in Ireland

Curing the Health System: UHI in Ireland

The Irish healthcare system cannot accurately be described as being either public or private in nature, but rather a mesh of public and private, non-profit and for-profit institutions. The inefficiencies of the current hybrid system are painfully evident, while the inequality of service provision, typified in the current layout where hospital consultants are paid a...
After the Tiger: Active Labour Market Policies in Modern Ireland

After the Tiger: Active Labour Market Policies in Modern Ireland

The severity of the economic crisis, coupled with rising unemployment figures, has exerted considerable pressure on stretched social welfare provisions, raising questions on the efficacies of the welfare systems of the state. In particular, it has been queried whether a more proactive approach in returning unemployed jobseekers to the active labour market ought be taken...
In review: 'The Crisis of the European Union: a response', by Jürgen Habermas

In review: ‘The Crisis of the European Union: a response’, by Jürgen Habermas

Jürgen Habermas, in “The Crisis of the European Union: a response” presents a powerful case for (a)  the expansion of the powers of the European Union and (b) (more explicitly than in the case of (a)) the creation of a European “demos” or “civic solidarity” (p. 53). I shall address his arguments for both (a) and...
Geopolitical preferences and the Securitization debate

Geopolitical preferences and the Securitization debate

The recent events in Paris have again brought the debate of securitization to the fore in European political dialogue. The acts, perpetrated by members of a minority ethnic community against a bastion of francité – the free press, has been decried not only in France, but across Europe as a continent and further afield. In its wake,...
A case for increased social expenditure

A case for increased social expenditure

Termed by media outlets as the closest thing to a ‘give away budget’ since the Celtic Tiger heyday, Budget 2015 was intended to ease the fiscal pain placed on Irish society during years of Austerity. Yet, while fiscal relief is indeed to be welcomed, this author feels that the latest budget was a missed opportunity...
Social Costs of Direct Provision

Social Costs of Direct Provision

A clear majority of Irish voters approve of the current Direct Provision policy towards asylum seekers [1]. Support for the policy is strong across all social classes, but is especially popular among DE voters, and, surprisingly, among young voters (18 to 34). Given such broad popular support for the current arrangement, it is unlikely that any change...
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