Policy & Practice - A Development Education Review



Development Education and the Economic Paradigm
Autumn 2022

Guest Editorial: Development Education and the Economic Paradigm

Stephen McCloskey

In 2019, before the world fell into the chasm of the COVID-19 pandemic, and a food and energy crisis, Ireland’s President, Michael D Higgins, said: ‘our prevailing neoliberal economic paradigm has been with us like a dark cloud for almost four decades now’. This ‘orthodox laissez-faire economic narrative’, he added, asserted ‘the state’s role needs to be minimal and the private sector should lead in all aspects of life including the response to climate change’ (Roche, 2019). The narrative of neoliberal Ireland has been dominated by a homeless crisis with the lack of social housing and over-priced rents in the private renting sector resulting in increasing numbers of evictions. The total number of homeless in Ireland exceeded 10,000 people in May 2022, nearly 3,000 of whom are children (Roche and Holland, 2022). ‘Housing and the basic needs of society should never have been left to the market place’, said President Higgins, adding that ‘It is the mad speculative money that is destroying our country, which we are welcoming, which we shouldn't be’ (BBC, 2022). Such is the cost of accommodation in Ireland that 19 per cent of the population live below the poverty line after housing costs are factored in with that figure climbing to nearly 25 per cent for children and 50 per cent for single parents (Social Justice Ireland, 2022). In the north of Ireland, one-in-five people are living in poverty including 100,000 children and 61,597 emergency food parcels were distributed by the Trussell Trust foodbank network in 2021-22 (Joseph Rowntree Foundation, 2022; Trussell Trust, 2022).

Read the full article >>