Deliberately Designed Diplomacy: How Ireland Rebuilt its Positive International Reputation after its Debt Crisis of 2008-2014

  • 2016

Deliberately Designed Diplomacy: How Ireland Rebuilt its Positive International Reputation after its Debt Crisis of 2008-2014

Author:
James Garrity
Abstract:

In February 2011, the newly formed Fine Gael-Labour coalition government began rebuilding Ireland’s international reputation. The coalition did this on several levels. Structurally, Ireland created new institutions within the government to coordinate domestic and foreign policy decision-making. For foreign policy, it drafted a three-year strategic diplomatic plan with measurable objectives. Operationally, the coalition government successfully implemented the austerity measures imposed under the terms of the sovereign debt bailout, while concomitantly negotiating more favorable terms. By early 2014, Ireland became the first Eurozone country to exit the bailout. The Irish recovery was deliberate and designed. Recovery from the bailout and the restoration of Ireland’s reputation were deliberate, as declared in the "Programme for Government", promulgated on the coalition’s first day in office. Recovery was designed through the creation of new institutions, a strategic foreign affairs roadmap, and diplomacy. In the process, the power of economic diplomacy was utilized, the impact of public diplomacy was maximized, and Ireland’s multilateralism was strengthened. Ireland’s experience yields lessons for other states. In times of domestic crisis, states should engage internationally, expand on domestic strengths, and maintain flexibility.