The Transatlantic Politics of Productivity and the Origins of Public Funding Support for Social Science Research in Ireland, 1950-1979 (NIRSA) Working Paper Series. No.22
Murray, Peter (2004) The Transatlantic Politics of Productivity and the Origins of Public Funding Support for Social Science Research in Ireland, 1950-1979 (NIRSA) Working Paper Series. No.22. NIRSA - National Institute for Regional and Spatial Analysis.
The channelling of US aid funds into a drive to increase productivity was an important feature of the reconstruction of Western Europe after World War Two. Located within the Organisation for European Economic Co-operation (OEEC), the European Productivity Agency (EPA) played a key role in organising this productivity drive between 1953 and 1962 by constructing a network of national productivity centres. As an OEEC member state, Ireland joined the EPA when it was set up. But it did not take a significant part in the Agency’s activities until 1959 when the government approval for the setting up of an Irish national productivity centre given almost a decade earlier was finally put into effect. At the EPA’s prompting, a National Joint Committee on the Human Sciences and Their Application to Industry (HSC) – probably the first body involved in providing public funding support for the creation of a social science research infrastructure in Ireland - was also set up. This working paper traces the history of the HSC. It examines the initiatives the HSC took in conjunction with EPA from 1959 to 1962, how it survived the EPA’s demise to provide support for social science research projects after becoming a component part of the Irish national productivity centre and how a radical restructuring of the national productivity centre in the early 1970s set the stage for the demise of its role in supporting research by the end of that decade. The paper’s conclusion indicates the intended next stage of this work in progress. It also tentatively draws out the implications of this particular study for the broader understanding of how Ireland began to `open up’ its economy and society at the end of the 1950s and of the role that direct and indirect US aid played in this process.
Repository Staff Only: item control page