Governance and Institutional Change in Ireland
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Hilliard, R.;Green, R. (2005) 'Governance and Institutional Change in Ireland' In: Svend Remoe(Eds.). Governance of Innovation Systems (MONIT). Paris : OECD.
An innovation driven policy agenda has emerged in Ireland against a backdrop of remarkable economic growth and convergence. Policy makers now recognise that convergence in innovative performance will also be required for a sustainable economic future. Despite this recognition, over the past decade, the Irish policy system has been struggling with two significant, and interrelated, innovation policy challenges. The first is the stimulation of a national innovation system (NIS). The second is to secure the role of policy in achieving effective links and integrations between the elements of the NIS. One explanation may be that the failure to develop coherence between policy elements may simply reflect the early stage of development of the Irish NIS; it may be the case that the development of NIS elements needs to precede the development of effective interactions between those elements. Alternatively the problem may be a particular incidence of a wider problem affecting policy, namely the prevalence within the Irish policy system of a culture of strong ministerial autonomy. It may also be that the innovation agenda has failed to gain wider support within government and society. This lack of a shared understanding of the priority of innovation for continued economic growth and the costs of failure weakens the political imperative for a coherent and integrated approach to developing the Irish NIS. Recent attempts to strengthen elements and interactions within the NIS can be seen as attempts to address these issues.