Raj Chari** and Patrick Bernhagen*

**Trinity College Dublin (author for correspondence)

*University of Aberdeen

 

Abstract: This article examines the causes of the financial and economic crisis in the Republic of Ireland. We first review the crisis in advanced capitalist democracies and then situate the Irish case in this context. In the section thereafter, we relate existing narratives and other evidence to the different theoretical explanations surveyed by Bernhagen and Chari (in this Volume) in order to identify the most useful approaches to explaining the Irish crisis. We conclude that explanations focussing on the role of mass preferences and varieties of capitalism do not aid our efforts to understand the causes of the crisis or how it unfolded. By contrast an explanation focussing on the role of lobbying is of some value, as are analyses of elite integration and the structural dependence of the Irish state on a thriving financial and property market. We close with lessons to be drawn from the study, with a particular emphasis on future policy responses and remedies.