The politics of fiscal effort in Spain and Ireland: market credibility versus political legitimacy

Research output: Working paperDiscussion paper

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Austerity measures in response to Eurozone crisis have tended to be conceived,
debated, and implemented as if only the technical parameters of budget
management mattered. But policies that impose budgetary hardships on citizens,
whether in the form of increased taxes or cuts to public spending go right to the
heart of voter expectations about what it is both appropriate and acceptable for
governments to do. Pro-cyclical measures that worsen an already difficult
situation in a recession run counter to deep-seated norms and expectations in
European countries, built up over decades of democratic governance, whereby
governments are expected to provide offsetting protection for their citizens
against the vicissitudes of the market. If austerity measures are held to be
unavoidable in response to market turbulence, and especially if this view is
underwritten by international authorities, new challenges of political
legitimation are likely to arise. These issues are explored through the
experiences of Spain and Ireland.
Original languageEnglish
Place of PublicationDublin
Number of pages40
Publication statusPublished - Nov 2013

Publication series

NameDiscussion Paper Series
PublisherUCD Geary Institute


  • politics
  • fiscal effort
  • spain
  • ireland
  • market credibility
  • political legitimacy
  • legitimacy
  • eurozone crisis
  • credibility


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