Exploring British Politics

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  • Edition: 1st
  • Format: Paperback
  • Copyright: 2006-10-05
  • Publisher: Pearson
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EXPLORING BRITISH POLITICS Garnett & Lynch 'A lucid and up-to-date exploration of the British Polity - essential reading for every student' Dr. Joanna McKay, Senior Lecturer in Politics at Nottingham Trent University Concise, comprehensive and accessible Exploring British Politics presents an insightful and fresh approach to British politics with a special emphasis on recent developments. Designed to stimulate critical analysis and provoke lively debate, it provides new perspectives on two key themes the health of British democracy and the transition from traditional models of government to more flexible forms of 'governance'. Whilst framed in a discussion of the essential historical background of British politics, contemporary issues are to the fore throughout and readers are encouraged to scrutinise what is often taken for granted and to develop their owns thoughts and ideas. Whether studying the subject for the first time or revisiting it, Exploring British Politics is the ideal undergraduate text. "This book provides an insightful and intriguing new addition to the literature on British Politics". Dr.Dan Hough, Lecturer in Politics at the University of Sussex 'Thought-provoking, incisive and informative, Exploring British Politics provides an excellent and welcome addition to the current literature. Shedding light upon the key debates in British government and politics, the authors use a wealth of contemporary and historical examples to illustrate their arguments. Both students new to British Politics as well as those already familiar with the subject area, will greatly benefit from reading this engaging text'. Dr. Jacqui Briggs, Senior Lecturer in Politics, The University of Lincoln.

Table of Contents

Guided tour of the bookp. xvi
Guide to featuresp. xix
Prefacep. xxv
Acknowledgementsp. xvii
Understanding British Politicsp. 3
Learning outcomesp. 3
Introductionp. 3
UK politics, representative democracy and the 'Westminster Model'p. 4
Liberal democracyp. 8
The changing statep. 13
Conclusion and summaryp. 16
Further readingp. 17
Websitesp. 17
UK government in contextp. 18
Learning outcomesp. 18
Introductionp. 18
The post-war 'consensus'p. 19
The end of consensus, 1970-79p. 28
Thatcherism, 1979-97p. 30
Blair and New Labourp. 36
Conclusion and summaryp. 38
Further readingp. 40
Websitesp. 40
Economy and societyp. 41
Learning outcomesp. 41
Introductionp. 41
Britain: a divided nation?p. 42
Sources of cohesionp. 56
Conclusion and summaryp. 59
Further readingp. 59
Websitesp. 60
The media and communicationsp. 61
Learning outcomesp. 61
Introductionp. 61
The UK media: not one, but many?p. 62
Theories of media influencep. 64
New Labour and the mediap. 68
Conclusion and summaryp. 77
Further readingp. 78
Websitesp. 79
Constitution and Institutions
The constitutionp. 83
Learning outcomesp. 83
Introductionp. 83
The uncodified constitutionp. 84
Sources of the UK constitutionp. 85
Main principles of the UK constitutionp. 88
The constitution under pressurep. 93
New Labour and constitutional reformp. 96
A new constitutional settlementp. 101
Conclusion and summaryp. 103
Further readingp. 103
Websitesp. 104
The core executivep. 105
Learning outcomesp. 105
Introductionp. 105
The core executive modelp. 106
The Prime Ministerp. 107
Leadership stylep. 116
The Cabinetp. 121
Ministerial responsibilityp. 126
Ministers and departmentsp. 131
Conclusion and summaryp. 135
Further readingp. 136
Websitesp. 137
Parliamentp. 138
Learning outcomesp. 138
Introductionp. 138
The House of Commonsp. 139
The House of Lordsp. 158
Parliamentary reformp. 159
Conclusion and summaryp. 162
Further readingp. 162
Websitesp. 163
Law and the judiciaryp. 164
Learning outcomesp. 164
Introductionp. 164
The judicial system in the UKp. 165
Judicial review and the Human Rights Act 1998p. 166
Who are the judges?p. 169
New Labour's constitutional reformsp. 175
The policep. 176
Conclusion and summaryp. 180
Further readingp. 180
Websitesp. 181
Multi-level governance
The Changing statep. 185
Learning outcomesp. 185
Introductionp. 185
Government to governancep. 186
Changing attitudes towards the statep. 187
Reform of the civil servicep. 190
The quango statep. 194
Multi-level governancep. 202
The 'hollowing out' of the state?p. 207
Conclusion and summaryp. 210
Further readingp. 211
Websitesp. 212
Local governance to local governancep. 213
Learning outcomesp. 213
Introductionp. 213
Government to governancep. 214
The structure of local governmentp. 214
Functions of local authoritiesp. 222
Local government financep. 227
Local government in a multi-level polityp. 232
Local democracyp. 236
Conclusion and summaryp. 237
Further readingp. 237
Websitesp. 238
Devolutionp. 239
Learning outcomesp. 239
Introductionp. 239
The Unionp. 240
Towards devolutionp. 243
Devolution in Scotland and Walesp. 246
Englandp. 254
Changes to UK governmentp. 258
Northern Irelandp. 261
The post-devolution polityp. 269
Conclusion and summaryp. 271
Further readingp. 272
Websitesp. 272
The UK and the European Unionp. 273
Learning outcomesp. 273
Introductionp. 273
The development of the European Unionp. 274
The institutions of the European Unionp. 280
Interpreting the European Unionp. 286
Britain and the European Unionp. 288
An 'awkward partner'p. 294
Conclusion and summaryp. 305
Further readingp. 306
Websitesp. 306
Political parties
UK party systemsp. 311
Learning outcomesp. 311
Introductionp. 311
History of a two-party systemp. 312
The UK party system since 1997p. 318
Party systems in Scotland and Walesp. 320
The party system in Northern Irelandp. 321
UK parties and European electionsp. 324
Conclusion and summaryp. 326
Further readingp. 326
Websitesp. 327
Party organizationp. 328
Learning outcomesp. 328
Introductionp. 328
From cadre parties to mass partiesp. 329
Conservative Party organisationp. 331
Labour Party organisationp. 336
Liberal Democrat organisationp. 344
Party financep. 346
Back to cadre parties?p. 348
Conclusion and summaryp. 351
Further readingp. 352
Websitesp. 353
Ideology and party competitionp. 354
Learning outcomesp. 354
Introductionp. 354
The nature of ideologyp. 355
Conservatismp. 357
Socialismp. 360
Liberalismp. 363
Ideology and British political partiesp. 367
A new 'consensus'?p. 378
Alternative voicesp. 380
Conclusion and summaryp. 383
Further readingp. 384
Websitesp. 385
Elections and electoral systemsp. 389
Learning outcomesp. 389
Introductionp. 389
Elections in the UKp. 390
Functions of electionsp. 394
Election campaignsp. 404
Electoral systems in the UKp. 407
Electoral reformp. 415
Impact of the new electoral systemsp. 417
Conclusion and summaryp. 420
Further readingp. 420
Websitesp. 421
Voting behaviourp. 422
Learning outcomesp. 422
Introductionp. 422
Class voting and partisanshipp. 423
Dealignmentp. 425
Other social factorsp. 430
Rational choice approachesp. 432
The 1997, 2001 and 2005 general electionsp. 441
Realignment or dealignment?p. 446
Conclusion and summaryp. 447
Further readingp. 448
Websitesp. 449
Referendums and pressure groupsp. 450
Learning outcomesp. 450
Introductionp. 450
Referendumsp. 451
Pressure groupsp. 456
New social movementsp. 464
Pressure groups and democracyp. 467
Conclusion and summaryp. 469
Further readingp. 470
Websitesp. 470
Governance and democracy in the UKp. 475
Learning outcomesp. 475
Introductionp. 475
The old order changesp. 475
Constitutional reformp. 477
The more things change...p. 478
The condition of British democracyp. 480
Conclusion and summaryp. 486
Further readingp. 486
Websitesp. 487
Indexp. 489
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