Tuesday, March 22, 2011

Next generation Ireland

This book looks interesting and has a nice cover: Next Generation Ireland (editors Ed Burke, Ronan Lyons) tackles the essential challenges confronting Irish politics and society, the economy, the environment, and Ireland’s relationship with the rest of the world. It brings together ten young Irish men and women to answer the fundamental question, 'What now?'
Ireland in the early 2010s stands at a crossroads. The ongoing change and crisis in institutions that once had our trust force us to ask, ‘What now?’
Next Generation Ireland brings together ten young Irish men and women to answer this very question. All are under forty and are emerging experts in their chosen fields. They have come together because they believe that, in this time of questioning, there exists a huge opportunity for the next generation to build the Ireland of the 2020s and 2030s.
The book tackles the essential challenges confronting Irish politics and society, the economy, the environment, and Ireland’s relationship with the rest of the world. Each writer proposes transformative policies in their respective areas that will renew and sustain the Irish state in the coming decades.
Urging reform and policy transformation, Next Generation Ireland marks the beginning of an interesting conversation. Do you wish to participate?

Contributors include: Eoin O’Malley, Michael Courtney, Stephen Kinsella, Michael King, Joseph Curtin, Aoibhín de Búrca, Neil Sands and Nicola White.


Liam Delaney said...

Good stuff. Will read later.

I remember when we started doing the ISNE conferences, one thing that we grappled with was how to get across the idea of new voices without conflating this with the idea of being young. We were orginally society of young economists in Ireland but changed it to new economists, which is actually a little confusing in some sense but better I think than young. This is not so much political correctedness as just a genuine sense that the purpose was to encourage new people to present their views rather than neccesarily young people.

I do have a sense though in Ireland that the "Pope's Children" to use McWilliams phrase need to start getting more visible and it is a shame, for example, to see the Labour Party so completely dominated by people that we were in high rank right back in the early 90s. Fine Gael is doing a better job at putting out new people and, whatever your views on Lucinda Creighton, Leo Varadhkar etc,. it is good to see people around my age actually starting to break through. Whether they will be any better than the previous group I dont know.

Kevin Denny said...

Because I am almost a horrific 49 I am tempted to think "What have these guys got to add?" but in general I am all for younger economists and others getting their ideas out.
Watching a recent Discovery program on the Apollo program, it was amazing to see that most of the engineers, astronauts etc were in their 30s.

Liam Delaney said...

The current mad systems in place in the universities will make it much less likely that young potential thought-leaders will emerge from the university ranks. There have been no hires at all to university faculty posts in the last couple of years and most serious young academics I know are in a queue, very sadly, to leave. To the extent that academia will produce "next generation" leaders it will increasingly have to do so in the context of migrant academics and I hope I am not just saying that out of personal bias.

I am also really annoyed that the Labour party has done so little to bring on new talent. If any of their members are reading, feel free to contradict me if you think I am being unfair but the age composition of the current Labour ministers is really skewed particularly compared to Fine Gael who have done a much better job at bringing on some new faces. They really should have tried to bring on some people in the last few years and I dont neccesarily just mean in a quota-sense.

I think many important institutions such as universities are in danger of becoming stagnant pension funds and if there is to be leadership in the next generation it will need to be vigorous and disruptive.

Kevin Denny said...

I don't disagree with anything you say. I suppose it raises the question: is there ever a negative return to experience?
The type of "free disposability" arguments that we are used to in economics do not necessarily apply. Its very hard to dump ideas from your head even if they are crap so there may be something for being "naive". This would be uncontroversial in the arts but it seems more jarring in technocratic or political domains.