The political theory of the Irish Constitution

Republicanism and the basic law

By Eoin Daly and Tom Hickey

The political theory of the Irish Constitution


  • eBook

Book Information

  • Format: Hardcover
  • ISBN: 978-0-7190-9528-3
  • Pages: 248
  • Publisher: Manchester University Press
  • Price: £80.00
  • Published Date: July 2015
  • BIC Category: Politics, Political science & theory, Constitution: government & the state, POLITICAL SCIENCE / Constitutions, Society & social sciences / Political science & theory


The political theory of the Irish Constitution considers Irish constitutional law and the Irish constitutional tradition from the perspective of Republican theory. It analyses the central devices and doctrines of the Irish Constitution - popular sovereignty, constitutional rights and judicial review - in light of Republican concepts of citizenship and civic virtue. The Constitution, it will argue, can be understood as a framework for promoting popular participation in government as much as a mechanism for protecting individual liberties. It will be of interest to students and researchers in Irish politics, political theory and constitutional law, and to all those interested in political reform and public philosophy in Ireland.


'This book deserves to attract a wide range of readers including political scientists, constitutional lawyers and historians.The issues identified are relevant far beyond the Irish context, a reality underscored by the decision to open chapters by placing the relevant issues in an international and wider historical and philosophical context. Irish readers will be particularly grateful for this book's contribution to reclaiming the word 'republicanism' from men in balaclavas and restoring it to its proper context.'
Thomas Mohr, School of Law, University College Dublin, Ireland, Parliaments, Estates and Representation, April 2016


Introduction: Republican theory and Republican constitutionalism
Part I Republican freedom
1. Popular sovereignty, political freedom and democratic control
2. Constitutional rights and freedom as non-domination
Part II Republican institutions
3. Political constitutionalism and executive power
4. Judicial power and popular control
5. Republican perspectives on constitutional interpretation
Part III Republican society
6. Education and civic virtue
7. Church and state in the pluralist republic


Eoin Daly is a Lecturer in the School of Law at the National University of Ireland, Galway

Tom Hickey is a Lecturer in the School of Law and Government at Dublin City University

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