Policy Briefs

The Whitaker Policy Briefs are short and informative analyses on some of Ireland’s current public policy issues that bring background and recommendations to policy-makers, journalists and the general public. The policy briefs cover a wide range of topics with emphasis on the following three research themes:

  • Business, Innovation & Economic Development
  • Public-Sector Innovation and Reform
  • Sustainable and Inclusive Societies

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Advisory Services and Dairy Expansion in Ireland

Since April 2015, EU dairy farmers can expand milk production without facing restrictive milk quota constraints. This opportunity has been well received in Ireland and milk output has increased by 30 percent since quota abolition, mainly achieved through expansion on existing farms. The Irish dairy sector’s remarkable growth rate began once milk quota abolition was… | Read on »

Exploring complex social drivers of (un)sustainable consumption

Rising consumption and the increasing resource intensity of daily living practices are key drivers of environmental change. As a result, individual consumption and the promotion of positive pro-environmental behaviour change have become a key area of attention in European and Irish sustainable development policy. In finding ways in which environmental transitions can be achieved through… | Read on »

End-of-life considerations for onshore wind in Ireland

Most Irish wind farms have been granted a time-limited, 20 year, planning consent with a requirement to subsequently decommission. However, in the context of renewable energy targets, increasing pressure on land and opposition facing new sites, it will be important for existing sites to retain their license to operate. This could be achieved through extending… | Read on »

Developing Transdisciplinary Approaches to Community Energy Transitions

Communities’ perceptions of energy are complex, place-based and situated in cultural and political contexts. Explicitly addressing the social study of energy and climate change, the research highlights how developing collaborative, fair approaches to community low carbon energy transitions poses critical questions for both technical and social scientific methods. This research argues that there is a… | Read on »

Organisational Ambidexterity

Professor Breda Sweeney

Ambidexterity in general refers to the ability to do two things equally well (e.g. use of right and left hands) and organisational ambidexterity refers to the simulaneous ability to exploit existing capabilities and explore new capabilities. This is seen as paving the way for introducing both radical and incremental innovations in the marketplace. For many… | Read on »

Translating flood risk assessment into local urban action

Tom McDermott, SEMRU

Urban areas are already suffering substantial losses in both economic and human terms from climate-related disasters, including flooding. These losses are anticipated to grow substantially in the coming decades, while local planning decisions today will have a large bearing on future costs, for example by locking-in future exposure to flood risk (Kocornik-Mina et al. 2015)…. | Read on »