The Political Economy and Media Coverage of the European Economic Crisis: The case of Ireland
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The European economic crisis has been ongoing since 2008 and while austerity has spread over the continent, it has failed to revive economies. The media have played an important ideological role in presenting the policies of economic and political elites in a favourable light, even if the latter’s aim has been to shift the burden of adjustment onto citizens. This book explains how and why, using a critical political economic perspective and focusing on the case of Ireland. Throughout, Ireland is compared with contemporary and historical examples to contextualise the arguments made.
The book covers the housing bubble that led to the crash, the rescue of financial institutions by the state, the role of the European institutions and the International Monetary Fund, austerity, and the possibility of leaving the eurozone for Europe’s peripheral countries.
Through a systematic analysis of Ireland’s main newspapers, it is argued that the media reflect elite views and interests and downplay alternative policies that could lead to more progressive responses to the crisis.
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Irish Times board; Brian Caulfield, a venture capitalist; Eoin O’Driscoll, who has been on the board of a number of private software and telecommunications companies, and a member of the National Executive Council of IBEC, Ireland’s largest business and employers’ lobbying organization; John Fanning, chairman of McConnell’s Advertising with expertise in branding; and Gregory Sparks, partner in RSM Farrell Grant Sparks (a business services firm).45 Similarly, the Sunday Times is owned by Rupert
could afford to wait’, but ‘this would have been fatal’. In fact, ‘Ireland could end up being the only country affected by this crisis which will not have had to spend public money buying a bank’, and if the guarantee is not called upon, ‘the Government finances will turn a substantial profit from the levy charged for the guarantee’.32 It was often implied that catastrophic outcomes would follow if the guarantee was not implemented. An article entitled ‘Banking system on brink of “collapse”’
billion to bondholders, or ‘€4,888 from each man, woman and child in the Republic to Anglo bondholders’, and believed the bondholders should take a hit. Yet, three weeks later, he seemed to have reversed his position in an article entitled ‘Why defaulting on Anglo bonds is not an option’, in which he said that ‘brutal sudden moves – like defaulting on senior debt – could still be highly counter-productive’ and that defaulting could scare the markets, which he believed should be treated ‘with a
in health care, education and other areas. This set of political economic institutions is sometimes referred to as ‘embedded liberalism’ to denote how a series of political and social regulations constrained market, corporate and entrepreneurial activities. In contrast, as David Harvey notes, the ‘neoliberal project is to disembed capital from these constraints’. Yet, embedded liberalism’s performance was clearly superior to the neoliberal era of the last four decades. Western countries on