GIST: States of Ireland, States of Crisis

When:24 Mar 2011, 6pm - 7:30pm
Venue:Room 327 Robert Webster Building, UNSW Kensington Campus
Who:Professor Justin O'Brien, Faculty of Law, UNSW


Professor Justin O'Brien - Faculty of Law, UNSW

The interlinked corporate regulatory and political failures in Ireland has produced a seismic shift in the political landscape. The new Irish Taoiseach (Prime Minister), Enda Kenny, noted in his inaugural speech that “for Ireland this current crisis is the darkest hour before the dawn. Together and for our country let us believe in our future. For Ireland and for each other, let us lift up our heads, turn our faces to the sun and hang out our brightest colours. This is the first day of a journey to a better future.” The challenges facing the new coalition government are profound. The new program of government is strong on rhetoric and weak on detail. The government’s room for manoeuvre is limited as Ireland embarks on an age of austerity and the banking crisis continues to dominate discussions over the future of the European Union. What options does Ireland have and can it save itself without destroying the Euro.

Professor O’Brien is a specialist in the dynamics of financial regulation, with particular reference to capital market governance. He has written extensively on the intersection between regulatory form and ethical considerations, and holds major grants from the ARC and the UK Economic and Social Research Council. He is the author of Wall Street on Trial (2003), Redesigning Financial Regulation (2007) and Engineering a Financial Bloodbath (2009), has edited collections on corporate governance, including Governing the Corporation (2005); Private Equity, Corporate Governance and the Dynamics of Capital Market Governance and Corporate Business Responsibilities (2009), and is co-editor (with Iain MacNeil, University of Glasgow) of a major volume on the implications of the Global Financial Crisis, The Future of Financial Regulation (2010).

Professor O’Brien has held appointments at Queen’s University, Belfast, Charles Sturt University and Queensland University of Technology, has been affiliated to the Center for the Study of Law and Society at the University of California, Berkeley and the University of Glasgow, and is an Adjunct Professor at the Australian National University division of the Centre for Applied Philosophy and Public Ethics. Prior to his career in academia Professor O’Brien was an investigative journalist and writes regularly for the Irish Times and the Australian Financial Review.

Contact: Angela McLoughlin | T: 02 9385 7164 | E:

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