Fully revised and updated this fourth edition is a comprehensive introduction to the politics of the Irish republic. Includes coverage of the 1997 general election, and the creation of a new coalition of Fianna Fail and the Progressive Democrats under Bertie Ahern that year. Examines the implications of a written constitution, changes in the party system, the power of major interest groups, the role of the civil service, the position of the media and membership of the European union. Places the Republic in its international political context, examining its relationship with Britain and the United States and includes full coverage of recent developments such as the Good Friday Agreement and the 'Celtic Tiger' economy. Reflecting recent developments in Irish politics, the book now has an entire chapter devoted to political corruption.