International actors and agencies
Title: International actors and agencies
Author: LAFFAN, Brigid
Citation: William K. ROCHE, Philip J.O'CONNELL, and Andrea PROTHERO (eds), Austerity and recovery in Ireland : Europe's poster child and the Great Recession, Oxford : Oxford University Press, 2017, pp. 177-193
From November 2010 until December 2013, Ireland was transformed from an EU member state into a programme country. International actors and agencies played a pivotal and contested role in the Irish experience of austerity as a result of the Great Recession. This chapter distinguishes between the interconnected dynamics of the two bailouts—the Irish bank bailout in September 2008 and the bailout of the sovereign in November 2010. The bank bailout was a unilateral decision of the Irish Government taken under duress in crisis conditions. There was no attempt to Europeanize the issue and it is impossible to assess whether such an attempt would have improved the quality of the decisions taken. International agencies, particularly the ECB, were pivotal in Ireland entering a programme and repaying unsecured senior bondholders. The ECB’s ‘hard power’ stemmed from the fragility of the Irish financial system and dependence on ELA funding.
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