As calls for further reducing the role of the Catholic Church in Irish primary schools gains traction in a rapidly evolving Irish society, The Politics of Irish Primary Education: Reform in an Era of Secularisation (Peter Lang, 2022) demonstrates how the interplay of civil society activists and organizations, the media, public opinion, and political parties and elites determines how policy reforms live or die. Co-authored by Sean McGraw, a faculty member in the BC Political Science Department, and Jonathan Tiernan, The Politics of Irish Primary Education contains a rich and novel set of data, including interviews with leaders and elites from the major actors and institutions, numbers and trends from previously unreleased data from the Church and Department of Education, evidence from the authors’ originally designed and implemented parliamentary surveys, an original analysis of media coverage of educational issues and actors involved in the main educational reform debates, and detailed case studies of divestment, admissions, and curriculum policy reforms. McGraw is a comparative political scientist specializing in Irish politics. He has published How Parties Win: Shaping the Irish Political Arena and co-edited One Party Dominance: Fianna Fáil and Irish Politics 1926-2016. His articles have been published in the European Journal of Political Research and Ireland: An Interdisciplinary Journal of Irish Studies, among other outlets.
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