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    Radical Justice: Activist Engagement with Legal Structures During the Irish Housing Crisis

    Toland, Fionn (2022) Radical Justice: Activist Engagement with Legal Structures During the Irish Housing Crisis. PhD thesis, National University of Ireland Maynooth.

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    This thesis investigates whether engagement with domestic legal structures can help radical left activists, movements and parties in Ireland, to further their aims and objectives. This question is examined through the lens of the Irish housing crisis, an issue which has dominated Ireland’s political sphere in recent years. The crisis, which is rooted in the commodification of the country’s housing sector, has provoked a considerable response from the radical left. Activists have protested and campaigned on issues such as homelessness, soaring rental prices and the selling of public lands to private developers. These actions have frequently brought socialists into contact with Ireland’s legal architecture. Activists have defended against legal actions and have also attempted to utilise the law as a tool to affect social change. The thesis considers the different way in which socialists have or could engage with the legal system by examining three case studies. Two of these involve instances in which groups involving radical left actors have come into contact with Ireland’s legal structures. The first examines the occupation of Apollo House in Dublin by the Home Sweet Home group in late 2016. The study considers the legal action brought to have the activists removed, reflecting on the court proceedings and the impact those proceedings had on the political debate which surrounded the occupation. The second case study investigates the work of the Dublin Tenant’s Association, a group which sought to utilise legal practice as part of its political mobilisation. The benefits and difficulties that came with this practice is considered. The thesis also considers a prospective legal engagement, asking whether socialists should engage with the campaign to give constitutional protection to the right to housing in Ireland. This case study considers the impact the right might have on Irish housing policy and the political opportunities which may emerge if socialists choose to campaign on the issue.

    Item Type: Thesis (PhD)
    Keywords: Radical Justice; Activist Engagement; Legal Structures; Irish Housing Crisis;
    Academic Unit: Faculty of Social Sciences > Law
    Item ID: 17286
    Depositing User: IR eTheses
    Date Deposited: 06 Jun 2023 15:08
      Use Licence: This item is available under a Creative Commons Attribution Non Commercial Share Alike Licence (CC BY-NC-SA). Details of this licence are available here

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