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

Sign-up to hear when the next Policy Brief is published.

Assessing the performance of EU Atlantic ports

EU Atlantic ports as multi-activity transport and logistic nodes can play a major role in the sustainable development of traditional and emerging maritime sectors and in the transition to a carbon-neutral economy. While the Atlantic Action Plan 2.0 envisions that the EU’s Atlantic port infrastructure and services can play a critical role in blue growth… | Read on »

Nature documentaries, environmental preferences and willingness to pay: the Blue Planet II effect

The relationship between media and the environment has been studied from a wide range of perspectives within the field of mass communication for many decades. Nature documentaries are also now an increasingly used modality to communicate environmental issues in order to create awareness, change behaviours or perhaps motivate increased viewers’ demand for environmental policy action. However,… | Read on »

Determinants of adherence to COVID-19 physical distancing measures in the Republic of Ireland

Physical distancing measures (e.g., keeping two metres apart from others outside of one’s household, limiting one’s number of close contacts, avoiding social gatherings) are among the most effective strategies to reduce the spread of coronavirus disease (COVID-19) in the community and healthcare settings. Emerging evidence gathered at the beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic suggested physical… | Read on »

Mental Health Spillovers from Serious Family Illness

People are interconnected and ill-health is rarely experienced in isolation. For example, the physical and mental strain of ‘caring for’ an ill or disabled relative has been suggested to ‘spillover’, imposing a health- and quality of life-related burden on the caregiver. In addition, the illness experience of an individual is also thought to exert a… | Read on »

Aligning the Farming Habitus with Generational Renewal in Agriculture Policy

Limited uptake of financial incentives, designed to confront global trends of an ageing farming population and low levels of land mobility (i.e. transfer of land from one farmer to another, or from one generation to the next), reveal resistance or at best ambivalence, amongst farmers towards altering existing farm management and ownership structures in later… | Read on »

The Sustainability of Ireland’s Health Care System

Ireland’s health care system is a unique mix of a publicly-funded health service and a fee-based private system. The distinctive and complex structure of the sector, which involves both public and private financing and delivery of services, has important implications for the allocation of resources and for sustainability. In addition, though Ireland currently has a… | Read on »

Creating ‘Corridors of Consumption’

Across the island of Ireland, domestic consumption levels have increased dramatically in the past three decades, making sustainable consumption a key challenge for policy makers. To date, public discourse has focused primarily on minimum levels of consumption but there has been a complete dearth of discussion around the concept of maximum levels of consumption. Our… | Read on »