Gas, oil and the Irish state

Understanding the dynamics and conflicts of hydrocarbon management

By Amanda Slevin

Gas, oil and the Irish state


  • Hardcover
  • Paperback

Book Information

  • Format: eBook
  • ISBN: 978-1-5261-0097-9
  • Publisher: Manchester University Press
  • Published Date: July 2016
  • BIC Category: Irish Sea, Society & social sciences / Sociology, Energy Industries & Utilities, Politics, Energy industries and utilities, Sociology, SOCIAL SCIENCE / Sociology / General


Gas and oil are pivotal to the functioning of modern societies, yet the ownership, control, production and consumption of hydrocarbons often provokes intense disputes with serious ramifications. Gas, oil and the Irish state examines the dynamics and conflicts of state hydrocarbon management and provides the first comprehensive study of the Irish model.

Interpreting the Corrib gas conflict as a microcosm of the Irish state's approach to hydrocarbon management, the book articulates environmental, health and safety concerns underpinning community resistance to the project. It emphasises how the dispute exposed broader issues, such as the privatisation of Irish hydrocarbons in exchange for one of the lowest rates of government take in the world, and served to problematise how the state functions, its close relationship with capital and its deployment of coercive force to repress dissent.

Analysis of these issues occurs within an original account of decision-making and policy formation around Irish hydrocarbons from 1957 to 2014. The book traces the development of the state's approach in tandem with occurrences in Irish political economy and examines the impact of global trends on different approaches to hydrocarbon management. A comparative case study of Norway reveals ideological, political, social and economic forces which influence how states manage their hydrocarbons - factors which the book uses as the basis for a rigorous critique of the Irish model.


Part I: The Corrib gas project
1. Politics and pipelines: emergence of the Corrib gas conflict
2. Resistance grows
Part II: History of Ireland's oil and gas experience
3. What gas and oil? The early days of the Irish regime (1957-75)
4. Unravelling of Keating's plans (1976-99)
5. A new millennium, a new approach (2000-2014)
Part III: Ireland in a global context
6. Global trends in state resource management
7. Ireland's licensing regime in an international context
8. Norway and Ireland: too different to compare?
Part IV: Ireland's approach - analysis, consequences and alternatives
9. Understanding the Irish state's approach
10. Consent, coercion and consequences of the Corrib gas conflict
11. Back to the future? Towards a new model for Ireland


Amanda Slevin is Lecturer in Political Science and Sociology at NUI Galway

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