Government and Politics in Britain

Government and Politics in Britain : An Introduction

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Is Britain "sleepwalking into Europe"? How does our state cope with the forces of globalization? Can the nation remain united? Has New Labour captured the political agenda? Is the Conservative Party in meltdown? Is the British polity fatally contaminated with sleaze? Why is Britain becoming a more unequal society? Can the monarchy survive in a changing culture? British politics remains in continuing turmoil and the second edition of this prize-winning, best-selling textbook addresses the key issues in the lively, challenging and thought-provoking style of the first.The content is thoroughly updated to take account of developments on all fronts. Problems and controversies associated with membership of the European Union, which penetrate virtually all aspects of British politics, are given extended treatment throughout the book. In addition, an entirely new chapter on ideology focuses on the development and current state of the thinking that shapes the modern world.
Although containing a thoroughgoing analysis of the constitutional and institutional structure of British government, a central goal of the book is to enthuse students by addressing the puzzling and fascinating questions about the reality of power in society. The student is encouraged to look beyond the formal structures into the hidden recesses of the state. The text is illustrated with cartoons, photographs, diagrams and tables to make the learning process involving and informative. There is also a glossary and up-to-date chronology. While the book has become well established as a central text for students of British politics and government, it has also proved of wide relevance throughout the social sciences.
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Product details

  • Hardback | 776 pages
  • 171 x 246mm | 1,783g
  • Oxford, United Kingdom
  • Revised
  • 2nd Revised edition
  • photographs, cartoons, diagrams, tables, glossary, chronology
  • 0745617190
  • 9780745617190

Table of contents

Preface. 1. Introduction: Studying Politics. Part I: Politics in Context: 2. The Constitution: the Unwritten and the Unknowable. 3. The World of Ideas: Political Ideology. 4. The Global Context: This Sceptred Isle. 5. Britain in Western Europe: Awkward Partners? 6. A Disunited Kingdom: Territorial Politics. 7. The Social Context: Our Divided Society. Part II: Mobilizing the Demos: 8. Mind Politics: What we Think. 9. The Electoral System: Parsimonious Democracy. 10. The Politics of Power: A Life History of the Party System. 11. Inside the Parties: Masses, Leaders and Powers Behind Thrones. Part III: Government at the Centre: 12. Pomp and Circumstance: The Living Dead of the Constitution. 13. Parliament: Not to Reason Why. 14. The Heart of Government: of Cabinets and Kings. 15. The Village of Whitehall: of Ministers and Mandarins. 16. Getting and Spending: the Politics of Public Expenditure. 17. The Politics of Influence: Who Gets What, When, How. Part IV. The Outer Reaches of the State: World Beyond Whitehall: 18. Arm's-Length Administration: Quasi-Autonomy, Quasi-Democracy. 19. Local Governance: the Grass Roots of Democracy. 20. Justice and Politics: Trials and Errors. 21. The Coercive State: the Politics of Law and Order. 22. Concluding Note: Thinking Holistically. Chronology of Events. Glossary. Bibliography. Index.
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Review quote

From reviews of the first edition: 'If there is such a thing as a textbook blockbuster, then this is the one. Provocative, thoughtful, engaging, lucidly written; this book represents a quantum leap in the art of politics textbook writing.' Times Educational Supplement "This book is encyclopaedic, attractively presented and relentlessly provocative. Love it or hate it, you should use it as an alternative to mainstream texts. It will prompt seminar debate and a spirit of enquiry about British government among your students." R.A.W Rhodes"There is a lot to be got from this book; it feels solid and really does cover the ground in amazing detail." John Dearlove, University of SussexFrom reviews of the second edition: "Two things make a Kingdom textbook special: the width of people and institutions, factors, process and events he embraces and the passion which drives his analysis. Read a Kingdom page and the subject matter bites you." Professor Peter Hennessy, Queen Mary and Westfield College, University of London "A stimulating book to teach from." Professor Howard Elcock, University of Northumbria 'One of the best textbooks around on British Politics.' Politico's Bookshop.
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