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Political Studies Association of Ireland


Public Policy Specialist Group


Dr Conor Little  University of Limerick

Dr Muiris MacCarthaigh Queens University Belfast

The Public Policy specialist group encourages links among, and facilitate communication between academic researchers and practitioners with an interest in the following:

  • actors, structures and processes in public policy making and implementation
  • the structure, organisation and management of the public sector
  • public sector reform


  1. To establish a professional network among academics and practitioners with the goal of investigating the public policy making process in Ireland;
  2. To encourage the links established between academics and practitioners in the broader area of public administration to contribute to the wider debate on the role of the Irish public sector;
  3. To provide a platform of communication and exchange of ideas through dedicated research activities and engagement with similar fora in other countries.


Academics and practitioners engaged in the study of public administration, public policy and public management are welcome to join the group’s activities which would include dedicated panels convened at the PSAI annual conference, panel proposals to international conferences/network meetings and themed ad hoc workshops with the aim of encouraging research collaborations and publications.


The specialist group welcomes members from interested faculty, postgraduate students, practitioners and researchers interested in the role of public administration and the public policy making process. Current members include: Dr. Richard Boyle (IPA), Prof. Neil Collins (UCC), Julie Connelly (UCC) Dr. Bernadette Connaughton (UL), Dr. Niamh Hardiman (UCD), Lisa Kiely (UL) Dr. Muiris MacCarthaigh (QUB), Prof. Colin Scott (UCD)