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The politics of poor law reform in early twentieth century Ireland

Mel Cousins ()

MPRA Paper from University Library of Munich, Germany

Abstract: This paper looks at the reform of poor relief in Dublin (the capital city of the then Irish Free State) in the 1920s and 1930s. In particular, it examines the introduction of the Poor Relief (Dublin) Act, 1929 and the role of political parties and interest groups in shaping its final outcome. This study is of particular interest in that it came in the first decade of Irish independence in a transitional phase of political and policy development. As such it took place before the political system took on the more rigid structures to be found in the mature Irish polity. It is one of the very few examples of an initiative by an Irish opposition party leading to significant change in the welfare area. In addition, the reform took place at a time when policies were moving from the more localised model of the nineteenth century to a more centralised approach. This local focus shows very clearly the particular class interests at play in the Dublin reform.

Keywords: Welfare; poor law; politics; Ireland (search for similar items in EconPapers)
JEL-codes: I38 J61 (search for similar items in EconPapers)
Date: 2007-11-01
New Economics Papers: this item is included in nep-his and nep-pol
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