© 2015

Multi-Level Governance and Northern Ireland


Table of contents

  1. Front Matter
    Pages i-xiii
  2. Derek Birrell, Cathy Gormley-Heenan
    Pages 1-6
  3. Derek Birrell, Cathy Gormley-Heenan
    Pages 7-23
  4. Derek Birrell, Cathy Gormley-Heenan
    Pages 24-51
  5. Derek Birrell, Cathy Gormley-Heenan
    Pages 52-70
  6. Derek Birrell, Cathy Gormley-Heenan
    Pages 71-86
  7. Derek Birrell, Cathy Gormley-Heenan
    Pages 87-107
  8. Derek Birrell, Cathy Gormley-Heenan
    Pages 108-126
  9. Derek Birrell, Cathy Gormley-Heenan
    Pages 127-155
  10. Derek Birrell, Cathy Gormley-Heenan
    Pages 156-179
  11. Derek Birrell, Cathy Gormley-Heenan
    Pages 180-190
  12. Derek Birrell, Cathy Gormley-Heenan
    Pages 191-218
  13. Derek Birrell, Cathy Gormley-Heenan
    Pages 219-223
  14. Back Matter
    Pages 224-256

About this book


This book examines the governance arrangements in Northern Ireland through a multi-level lens, particularly in the period since the new institutions established through the 1998 Agreement became more firmly embedded.


Northern Ireland multi-level governance UK Ireland EU local government devolved government MLG1 MLG2 policy making European Union (EU) executive governance government Institution Multi-Level Governance Policy

Authors and affiliations

  1. 1.School of Criminology, Politics and Social PolicyUlster UniversityUK
  2. 2.Institute for Research in Social SciencesUK

About the authors

Cathy Gormley-Heenan is the Director of the Institute for Research in Social Sciences (IRISS) and a Professor of Politics in the School of Criminology, Politics & Social Policy at the Ulster University. Her primary research interests lie in the areas of political elites, peace processes, public policy and the politics of divided societies.

Derek Birrell is Professor of Social Policy in the School of Criminology, Politics & Social Policy at the Ulster University. He was formerly the Head of the School of Social and Community Sciences and subsequently the School of Policy Studies. He is the author of the recent books Comparing Devolved Government (2012), The Impact of Devolution on Social Policy (2009) and Direct Rule and the Governance of Northern Ireland (2009).

Bibliographic information


'This book is a crucial addition to the study of politics in Northern Ireland. The UK's political science literature is well served on the topic of conflict in Northern Ireland, but not its domestic policy and policymaking. As Birrell and Gormley-Heenan show, this is not because its policymaking is easy to understand! In fact, it is a key example of complex government involving multiple levels of government, which overlap with each other in often unpredictable ways, and many types of policymaking organisations which produce what we call, for the sake of simplicity, 'policy'. Only a book length treatment does justice to the complicated and sometimes idiosyncratic nature of policymaking in Northern Ireland'. Paul Cairney, Professor of Politics and Public Policy, University of Stirling, UK

'Though frequently analysed in studies of conflict resolution, Northern Ireland is only rarely examined in comparative analyses of devolution and multi-level government. By applying the concept of multi-level governance to Northern Ireland, Gormley-Heenan and Birrell have identified the specificities of government in Northern Ireland while also rendering clear its comparability. This book provides a thorough overview of the application of devolution in Northern Ireland in recent years and will provide valuable insights for students of government and politics in Northern Ireland as well as scholars of devolution and multi-level government across the UK and beyond.' Nicola McEwen, Associate Director, Centre on Constitutional Change, University of Edinburgh, UK

'This is a detailed and deeply well-informed guide to the way in which UK, EU, supranational, all-Ireland and local as well as devolved levels of government all play their part in the contemporary governance of Northern Ireland. The governance of Northern Ireland can all too easily be read narrowly through localist political lenses, focusing on the internal world of devolved power-sharing; this is a valuable book for applying ideas from political science to broaden the perspective and hence encourage readers to think through the complexity of multi-level governance even in a society apparently still working out the problems of the past. A key source for students, researchers and practitioners seeking to understand post-devolution Northern Ireland.' Jonathan Bradbury, Chair in Politics, Swansea University, UK