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Political Studies Association of Ireland


Local Government Specialist Group


Dr. Aodh Quinlivan, Department of Government, University College Cork, Ireland
Tel: +353 21 4903368

Deiric Ó Broin, Department of Environment and Planning, School of Spatial Planning, Dublin Institute of Technology, Bolton Street, Dublin 1, Ireland
Tel: 353 1 4023698
Fax: 353 1 4023699


The Local Government Specialist Group of the PSAI exists to promote academic and practitioner discourse on local government and local democracy. Apart from Dáil Éireann and the Presidency, local government is the only institution whose members are directly elected by all of the people. Accordingly local government has an important representational and operational role.

The timing is perfect to engage in a vibrant discourse on local government issues.
For example:

  • The OECD Report on Ireland’s public service and the subsequent Task Force on the Public Service present a number of challenges and opportunities for the local government sector.
  • In his pre-Christmas speech (2009) launching a public reform programme, the Taoiseach stressed that local government should be at the heart of the process.
  • The Stronger Local Democracy Green Paper was published in 2008 and will be followed up by a White Paper and legislation.
  • Significant new planning legislation has been promised by the current government.
  • The proposed direct election of the first Regional Mayor of Dublin is scheduled for 2011.


The Local Government Specialist Group will be very active. The immediate aim is to get the group ‘up and running’ and attract members from the academic and practitioner communities. The group will run an email distribution list for members with regular information about calls for papers, new publications, news reports concerning lobbying, and so on. The group will actively seek opportunities to both help individual members to get published, and to organise combined proposals for conferences and special journal issues.

It is planned that the group will meet in November 2010 to discuss a joint venture with the PSA. The seminar itself will take place spring 2011.

The group will also have a panel at the PSAI Annual Conference in October 2011.


The Local Government Specialist Group welcomes academic and practitioner members with an interest in the developing the areas of local government, local governance, local politics and local democracy. To become a member of the Group you must be a member of the PSAI, which you can join here.
You do not have to belong to an Irish university to be a PSAI member or to join the Group.