Protecting commonly targeted groups in the context of ‘new politics’: the case of Ireland


This article addresses the big ‘P’ politics of hate by examining the circumstances that produced an apparent radical and sudden shift among the parties of government in Ireland from long-standing resistance to the introduction of hate crime legislation to an expansive approach to protecting commonly targeted minorities. By means of a directed qualitative content analysis of parliamentary debate regarding the Criminal Justice (Aggravation by Prejudice) Bill 2016, we argue that four factors aid comprehension of this uncommon pattern - the range of the Irish political spectrum, the current balance of power in parliament, the approach to the protection of difference adopted by established parties and finally, the permeability of the Irish political system and the consequent influence of civil society organisations representing targeted communities on the parliamentary debate. We argue that, rather than underscoring the national influence of global trends and international good practice, recent developments in Ireland demonstrate the importance of attending to the peculiarities of the local context in interpreting the meaning and significance of responses to hate crime.

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Correspondence to Amanda Haynes.

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Haynes, A., Schweppe, J. Protecting commonly targeted groups in the context of ‘new politics’: the case of Ireland. Crime Law Soc Change 71, 307–324 (2019).

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