Mel Cousins has lectured in social policy at Trinity College, Dublin and the National University of Ireland, Maynooth. He has worked as adviser to the Irish Minister for Social Affairs and has written extensively on social policy issues.
2005 0-7734-6036-5 This book provides a comprehensive overview of the Irish welfare system in comparative perspective. It examines key issues which have shaped the development of the Irish welfare state including the impact of Ireland’s post-colonial position, the role of globalisation and Ireland’s integration into the world-economy, and the respective roles of Irish state and societal institutions. The book places the Irish welfare state in a comparative European context and examines the extent to which Ireland fits into existing welfare typologies. It looks at the key policy areas of welfare support for those of working age, pensioners and children. It outlines the development of welfare systems in each area, describes the current level of coverage in a comparative context and outlines key debates. It also examines key policy issues including public opinion on the Irish welfare state, proposals for a basic income and debates on the privatization of welfare. The book concludes by discussing the possible future directions of welfare policy in Ireland.