Dr. Michael Holmes is Director of European Studies in the Department of Politics in Liverpool Hope University. He earned his Ph.D. from University College Dublin. He previously lectured in University College Cork, University College Dublin and the University of Limerick. Dr. Holmes has published extensively in the areas of political parties and European integration, Ireland and the European Union and Irish foreign policy.2006 0-7734-5729-1
The story of the Irish Labour Party’s transition from opposition to support for European integration is a fascinating one. Labour has gone from leading the campaign against membership in 1972 to leading the campaign to rescue the Treaty of Nice in 2002, a thirty-year political odyssey which sheds light on a number of important political questions. This book explores the key role played by political parties in connecting citizens to the European Union (EU), and as the EU tries to strengthen its democratic credentials, that role is going to become even more important.
It explores the complex relationship between Ireland and the EU, as the country moves from being outside the EU to one of its strongest supporters to surprisingly rejecting the Treaty of Nice. It examines the links between social democracy and European integration, as the Labour Party’s transition mirrors the path taken by many other European social democratic parties.
Above all, the book provides a comprehensive analysis of the Labour Party, examining its role in government and in opposition, assessing it at national and European levels, and evaluating its principles and policies. The result is an engaging and insightful treatment of an important and thought-provoking topic.