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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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 »

A Spatial Value Transfer Approach to Estimating the Benefits of the MSFD in the North East Atlantic

The environmental pillar of the EU’s Integrated Maritime Policy that supports sustainable ‘blue growth’ is manifested through the EU Marine Strategy Framework Directive (MSFD). The MSFD aims to achieve and maintain good environmental status of all EU marine waters by 2020. A healthy and productive marine environment provides a variety of ecosystem goods and services… | Read on »

Valuing Ireland’s Blue Ecosystem Services (VIBES)

The European Union (EU) aims to protect, value and, where necessary, to restore nature both for biodiversity’s intrinsic value and for its contribution to human wellbeing and economic prosperity through ecosystem services. The main policy drivers in achieving these goals are the Marine Strategy Framework Directive (MSFD) and 2020 Biodiversity Strategy. Both policies recognise that… | Read on »

Prenuptial Agreements in Ireland

Prenuptial agreements have traditionally been considered legally void in Ireland. However, in 2007 a ministerial Study Group recommended limited legislative recognition of prenuptial agreements, in light of social and economic changes. The Study Group’s recommendations have never been implemented, and the legal recognition of prenuptial agreements remains controversial, largely due to fairness concerns, particularly in… | Read on »

The Farmer-Farm Relationship Impact on Generational Renewal

A focus on generational renewal has been highlighted by the European Commission as a priority for future Common Agricultural Policy (CAP) reform. A major challenge therefore presents itself in the area of intergenerational family farm transfer, to help achieve this objective. There are numerous, intricate emotional facets affecting the older generation’s farm transfer decision-making process… | Read on »