Derek Birrell

in Direct Rule and the Governance of Northern Ireland

Published by Manchester University Press

Published in print August 2009 | ISBN: 9780719077579
Published online July 2012 | e-ISBN: 9781781701881 | DOI:

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This chapter provides an overview of the achievements and failures of direct rule in Northern Ireland in relation to substantive policies, policy formulation, administrative delivery systems, public participation and accountability. The positive features of direct rule include its role in ensuring the continuation of governance in Northern Ireland whenever the local political parties disagree on certain issues, promotion of cross-border cooperation and the introduction of radical measures to assist in the peace process. Some of the limitations and failings of direct rule in practice include democratic deficit, limited government accountability and divided time of ministers between Northern Ireland and Westminster. This chapter also compares the contribution of direct rule and devolution to the better governance of Northern Ireland.

Keywords: direct rule; Northern Ireland; substantive policies; policy formulation; cross-border cooperation; peace process; democratic deficit; government accountability; devolution

Chapter.  2382 words. 

Subjects: International Relations

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