Articles tagged with: Economics

The Social Dimension of Europe: Withered on the Vine?

on Wednesday, 14 May 2014. Posted in Issue 74 Issues for the New EU Parliament?

pdfThe Social Dimension of Europe: Withered on the Vine?

Introduction

There is obvious disenchantment among Europeans with ‘Project Europe’. This is largely due to a feeling that the social dimension of the project is being sacrificed in the interests of the economic dimension, while at the same time the supposed benefits of ‘free and undistorted’ competition are not forthcoming.

The Meaning of Dublin's Great Lockout 1913

on Friday, 14 March 2014. Posted in Issue 73 The Rights of Workers – Then and Now, Poverty & Inequality, Economics

Brendan Mac Partlin SJ

lockout-web
Food parcel docket, 1913.
Courtesy of B. MacPartlin SJ

Every person has a right to purposeful activity and a living income. The people of central Dublin were deprived of these rights when they were locked out of work with little or no income for four months in 1913. In remembering this tragic event I will try to situate it in a context of labour relations. Although the past is a foreign country, the core issues of the dispute remain and are being played out at a global level. The exclusion of the people of central Dublin in 1913 is a case that might throw light on the exclusion of vast numbers of people in today’s world and suggest pathways towards sustainable relations.

What Next for Social Enterprise in Ireland?

on Friday, 14 March 2014. Posted in Issue 73 The Rights of Workers – Then and Now, Poverty & Inequality, Economics

 Gerard Doyle and Tanya Lalor

Introduction

AlternativeEnerg

Wind and solar enegy farm.       © iStock Photo

Since the 1990s, the concept of ‘social enterprise’ has gained momentum throughout Europe as a mechanism of addressing unmet community needs,1 providing employment, and stimulating local economic activity. Social enterprises have their origins in the co-operative and self-help sectors, and often strive to ensure local communities have a degree of economic self-determination. Social enterprises are part of the ‘social economy’ or the ‘third sector’ which includes an array of community and voluntary organisations. Some social enterprises are involved primarily in trading or enterprise activity, bringing a product or service to a market, but differing from a private enterprise in that any profit accruing is directed to the benefit of the community.

Restoring the Fabric of Irish Economic and Social Life – A Theological Reflection (Part Two)

on Wednesday, 12 March 2014. Posted in Issue 73 The Rights of Workers – Then and Now, Economics, Church

Gerry O'Hanlon SJ

For Part One of this article click here.

Introduction

In Part One of this article,1 I discussed some of the core features of the currently dominant economic model and the part they played in bringing about our prolonged economic crisis. In particular, I raised questions regarding the overarching role accorded to ‘the market’ and the increase in the size and reach of the financial sector; the growth in inequality in incomes and wealth; and the underlying assumption that ‘growth is good’. I suggested, in Part One, that there is need to construct a ‘redemption narrative’ which can offer ‘vision and hope, galvanising our society towards effective action’. In this second part, I will look at the socio-cultural, political and theological resources which might contribute to that process.

Ethical Finance

on Thursday, 18 April 2013. Posted in Issue 71 Waiting for Asylum Decisions, Economics

 

Investment not just a matter of financial risk and reward © iStock
Investment not just a matter of financial
risk and reward                           © iStock

Introduction

Many Christians in Ireland, either individually or as members of organisations, have long been campaigning for greater justice and transparency in economic and financial activity. During the ‘boom’ times they may well have felt like the biblical voice crying out in the wilderness; today, however, in the wake of successive financial scandals, discussion of ‘ethical finance’ has gained new momentum and immediacy.

Prior to the global financial crisis, if you were to ask people in Ireland what they understood by ethical finance, it is likely that most responses would have made reference to the need to protect vulnerable communities in the developing world. Now the devastating consequences of unethical financial practices have been experienced in a very real way much closer to home. As a result, we have seen rising public demand for radical reform aimed at ensuring that the financial sector serves the interests of society, and not the other way round.

Restoring the Fabric of Irish Economic and Social Life: A Theological Reflection (Part One)

on Friday, 19 April 2013. Posted in Issue 71 Waiting for Asylum Decisions

Banking or gambling? © iStock
Banking or gambling?                  © iStock

 

Introduction

Writing in the euphoric aftermath of the visits of Queen Elizabeth II and of President Barack Obama in May 2011, but in the context of the ongoing economic crisis, clinical psychologist, Maureen Gaffney, noted that people respond to big crises in two main ways – ‘by constructing redemption stories or contamination stories’, and said that ‘these stories significantly affect how people respond to the crisis’.1

European Monetary Union in Historical Perspective

on Wednesday, 11 July 2012. Posted in Issue 69 The Future of the Euro, Economics

Introduction

Economic historians are well used to writing essays on historical parallels with current economic problems, and drawing lessons from the past. In the case of European Monetary Union (EMU), however, there are no historical precedents. To be sure, we have examples of currency unions that have broken up, but these unions typically existed in the context of multinational empires, such as the Soviet Union. When the empires collapsed, so did the currency unions, and it is not surprising that they did so in circumstances of conflict and economic chaos. To ascribe these conditions to the collapse of the currency unions involved, rather than to the breakup of the empires themselves, as some banking analysts have recently done, is clearly unconvincing.1

 

Where Do We Want the Euro to be in 2020 and How Do We Get There?

on Wednesday, 11 July 2012. Posted in Issue 69 The Future of the Euro, Economics

Great Expectations

European Monetary Union (EMU) was supposed to be a harbinger of growth and stability for its member states, yet the euro zone debt crisis is now in its fourth year and continues to rumble on, in a seemingly endless cycle of crises, summits and false dawns. The currency union creaks under the deficiencies of the euro zone’s fundamentally flawed design, while its survival and capacity to prosper depend on its ability to fix these design flaws. The stakes are high.

The Social Impact of the Economic Crisis in Europe

on Wednesday, 11 July 2012. Posted in Issue 69 The Future of the Euro, International Issues, Economics

Introduction
What is happening in Greece is dramatic; the IMF/EU plan for saving the country is destroying the country; the Greek people are more aware than a year ago that the remedy is killing the patient. It is destroying any kind of solidarity at European level. It can happen to Portugal, Spain, France, Italy and Belgium. The question is not about our public sector or our corrupt government or about the Greeks that are lazy … The question [is] is the IMF changing the actual character of our European social model [?] ... there is impoverishment of our middle class, a return to the countryside, and emigration of our youth. There is a support network at neighbourhood and village level, because public sector formal social support networks have collapsed … People day by day are not any more fighting poverty; they are fighting for survival.1                                                                                                       EAPN Greece

 

The Implosion of Solidarity: A Critique of the Euro Zone Crisis

on Wednesday, 11 July 2012. Posted in Issue 69 The Future of the Euro, Economics

Introduction
The post-2007 global financial crisis was, fundamentally, an ethical crisis.1 This crisis and its aftermath presented in a distinctive way within the euro zone. What distinguishes the euro zone crisis has been the collapse of ‘solidarity’, considered both as a social virtue and as an integral part of the Schumann–Monnet model of a new European order, a renewal of Europe from the ashes of World War II. Unless and until the true meaning of solidarity is rediscovered and reanimated within the political leadership of the EU, there is unlikely to be economic stabilisation and recovery. In other words, a failure to move the Franco–German dominant consensus away from the hegemony established in the wake of the euro zone crisis, and towards a rediscovery of solidarity, will result in the serious risk of the ‘Balkanisation’ of Europe within a generation.

Buying a House – Is the Buyer Protected? Some Reflections from a Legal Perspective

on Thursday, 15 December 2011. Posted in Issue 68 After the Housing Bubble, Housing Policy, Economics

Introduction

Consumer law covers most of the products we buy today. We presume that what we buy is regulated by certain minimum standards. Furniture must meet some minimum health and safety requirements. Electrical goods must work, must not be a danger to the consumer, and must last a minimum period. Cars must meet mechanical, electrical, design and other minimum standards. Several laws and regulations govern the manufacture, transport and sale of goods. Most of the time, the goods we purchase ‘work’: the chair does not collapse, the kettle boils, and the car stays on the road. However, if faults are discovered, purchasers can, and do, return to the shop with the defective goods and so it is not unusual for kettles, shoes, and even cars to be exchanged.

 

Unemployment: The Need for a Comprehensive Response

on Thursday, 02 June 2011. Posted in Issue 66 New Dáil: New Dawn?

pdf icon

Unemployment: The Need for a Comprehensive Response

Bríd O'Brien

April 2011

Highlighting the Scale of Unemployment  © Derek SpeirsIntroduction

There is no doubting that nearly everyone who stood as a candidate in the February 2011 General Election saw employment – its maintenance and creation – as a critical issue to be addressed by the in-coming Dáil. Now that a new Dáil has been elected and a new Government appointed, what should be the focus in tackling unemployment? What is needed to give unemployed people hope for the future as well as proper income and social supports to meet their needs?

 

[12 3  >>  

In February 2016, the Jesuit Secretariat for Social Justice and Ecology and for Higher Education in Rome published a Special Report on Justice in the Global Economy. The Report was compiled by an international group of Jesuits and lay colleagues in the fields of social science and economics, philosophy and theology. This issue of Working Notes is a response to the Report. Read full editorial

Working Notes is a journal published by the Jesuit Centre for Faith and Justice. The journal focuses on social, economic and theological analysis of Irish society in the areas of . It has been produced three times a year since 1987, and all of the articles are available in full on this site. Read More..