Politics and policy in britain



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GV460

POLITICS AND POLICY IN BRITAIN

Jonathan Hopkin

(Department of Government)



2006-7

Course Description

This course, delivered in Michaelmas term, provides an introduction to some basic features of the political system of the United Kingdom, viewed from a comparative perspective. No prior knowledge of British politics or history is assumed. The course focuses on three broad areas: the constitutional foundations of British politics, the British political parties and party system, and public policy in the areas of social and economic affairs.

The course is assessed by way of a 2000 word essay to be handed in at the beginning of Lent term, and a two hour examination (two questions from eight) in the summer term. A ‘practical’ essay is required midway through Michaelmas term. A revision session will be held at the beginning of the summer term.

As well as attending lectures and seminars, students must regularly check the course materials on WebCT. Materials for this course can also be found on the ‘public folder’ for GV460 (at https://exchange.lse.ac.uk/exchange/)and also the relevant area of my personal website (http://personal.lse.ac.uk/hopkin/teaching.htm) which are both used to distribute materials and information to students following the course.



Lecture Schedule
1. Introduction: British Politics in Theory and in Practice

2. The Westminster Model: Constitutional Basics


3. Still a Majoritarian Democracy?: The British Party Systems

4. Voting Behaviour In Britain: From Class Voting to Consumer Choice


5. Party Ideologies in Britain: New Consensus or New Polarization?

6. Governing the British Economy (I): Rolling Back the State

7. Governing the British Economy (II): Bringing the State Back In?

8. Governing British Society (I): Thatcherism and the Dependency Culture

9. Governing British Society (II): The Survival of the Welfare State


10. Constitutional and Political Change: Has New Labour Made a New Britain?

Assessment


1 essay of 2000 words 25%

1 2 hour exam 75%


Deadlines for Written Work
Practice Essay – Friday 10th November 2006

Assessed Essay – Friday 12th January 2007


Readings
Students are advised to purchase the following:
Hilaire Barnett, Britain Unwrapped. London: Penguin, 2002
Patrick Dunleavy et al, Developments in British Politics 8. Basingstoke: Palgrave, 2006.
A number of readings are available in electronic form, mostly through the BLPES (LSE library). They can be accessed in two ways; through WebCT, or by clicking the hyperlinks on this reading list on a networked computer.

Electronic copies of this reading list, with live hyperlinks, will be available from the public folders for GV460 (at https://exchange.lse.ac.uk/public/ - choose ‘Departments – Government – Courses 2006-2007 – GV460’), and also on the teaching pages of my personal website (http://personal.lse.ac.uk/hopkin/teaching.htm).

Detailed Reading List
1. Introduction: Politics, Institutions and Policy
Suggested Introductory Readings (read ONE of these textbooks for a preliminary grounding in the key features of the British political system)
Budge, Ian et al (2001). The New British Politics. Longman, 2nd ed.

Jones, Bill (ed.) (1999). Political Issues in Britain Today. Manchester: Manchester University Press, 5th ed.

Jones, Bill et al (2004). Politics UK. Harlow: Pearson, 5th ed.

Jones, Bill and Dennis Kavanagh (2003). British Politics Today. Manchester: Manchester University Press, 7th ed.

Dearlove, John and Peter Saunders (2000). Introduction to British Politics. Cambridge; Polity, 3rd ed.

Kavanagh, Dennis, David Richards, Andrew Geddes, and Martin Smith (2006). British Politics. Oxford: Oxford University Press, 5th ed

Kingdom, John (2003). Government and Politics in Britain: An Introduction. Cambridge: Polity, 3rd ed.

Holliday, Ian, Andrew Gamble and Geraint Parry (eds) (1999). Fundamentals in British Politics. Basingstoke: Macmillan.

Hay, Colin (ed.) (2002). British Politics Today. Cambridge: Polity.

Marsh, David et al (1999). Postwar British Politics in Perspective. Cambridge: Polity.

Wright, Tony (2002). British Politics. Oxford: Oxford University Press.

Wright, Tony (2003). British Politics. A Very Short Introduction. Oxford: Oxford University Press.



2. The Westminster Model: Constitutional Basics
Would Britain benefit from a written constitution?

Does the monarchy matter in British politics?

Is there anything democratic about the Westminster model?
Essential
Barnett, Hilaire (2002). Britain Unwrapped. Government and Constitution Explained. London: Penguin, Chs.1-3, 12.

P. Dunleavy (2006). ‘The Westminster Model and the Distinctiveness of British Politics’, in P. Dunleavy, R. Heffernan, P. Cowley and C. Hay (eds), Developments in British Politics 8. Basingstoke: Palgrave.

Flinders, Matthew (2005). ‘Majoritarian Democracy in Britain’, West European Politics 28(1): 61-93. Click here

Heffernan, Richard and Paul Webb (2005). ‘The British Prime Minister: Much More Than a First Among Equals’, in Thomas Poguntke and Paul Webb (eds.), The Presidentialization of Politics. A Comparative Study of Modern Democracies, pp.26-62. Click here

Lijphart, Arend (1999). Patterns of Democracy: Government Forms and Performance in Thirty Six Countries. New Haven: Yale University Press, Chs.1-3.

Sartori, Giovanni (1997). Comparative Constitutional Engineering. Basingstoke: Macmillan, Chs.6 and 12.



Further
Cox, Gary (1987). The Efficient Secret: The Cabinet and the Development of Political Parties in Victorian England. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.

Hennessy, Peter (1996) The Hidden Wiring: Unearthing the British Constitution.

Smith, Martin (1999) The Core Executive in Britain. Basingstoke: Macmillan.

Judge, David (2004). ‘Whatever Happened to Parliamentary Democracy in the United Kingdom’, Parliamentary Affairs 57(3): 682-701.

Ridley, F. (1988) ‘There is No British Constitution: A Dangerous Case of the Emperor’s Clothes’, Parliamentary Affairs 41.

Judge, David (1993). The Parliamentary State. London: Sage.

Katz, Richard (1997). Democracy and Elections. Oxford: Oxford University Press.

Prosser, T. (1996). ‘Understanding the British Constitution’, Political Studies 44: 473-87.

Bagehot, Walter (1963[1872]). The English Constitution. London: Collins.

Weale, Albert (1999). Democracy. Basingstoke: Macmillan.


3. Still a Majoritarian Democracy?: The British Party Systems

What are the advantages of the electoral system used to elect the Westminster parliament?

Can British democracy remain democratic without a two-party system?

Does the introduction of new electoral process at the devolved level undermine the Westminster model of party democracy?


Essential
Dunleavy, Patrick; Margetts, H. 'From Majoritarian to Pluralist Democracy: Electoral Reform in Britain since 1997.' Journal of Theoretical Politics 13, no. 3 (2001), pp. 295-319. Click here

Mair, Peter (1990). The West European Party System. Oxford: Oxford University Press, Chs.20 and 24.

Childs, Sarah (2006). ‘Political Parties and Party Systems’, in P. Dunleavy, R. Heffernan, P. Cowley and C. Hay (eds), Developments in British Politics 8. Basingstoke: Palgrave.

P. Mitchell, ‘The United Kingdom: Plurality Rule Under Seige’, in M. Gallagher and P. Mitchell (eds.), The Politics of Electoral Systems (2005). Oxford: Oxford University Press, pp.157-84. Click here

Sartori, Giovanni (1997). Comparative Constitutional Engineering. Basingstoke: Macmillan, 2nd ed, Chs.1-4.
Further
Barnett, Hilaire (2002). Britain Unwrapped. Government and Constitution Explained, Ch.6.

Budge, Ian et al, The New British Politics (1998), Chs.17-18.

Curtice, John (2003) ‘Changing Voting Systems’, in P. Dunleavy, A. Gamble, R. Heffernan and G. Peele (eds), Developments in British Politics 7. Basingstoke: Palgrave.

Dunleavy, Patrick. 'Mixed Electoral Systems in Britain and the Jenkins Commission on Electoral Reform.' British Journal of Political and International Relations 1, no. 1 (1999), pp. 12-38.


Dunleavy, Patrick. 'Reforming the Westminster Electoral System: Evaluating the Jenkins Commission Proposals.' In British Elections and Parties Review, Volume 9. Edited by Fisher, J.; et al. Cass, 1999.

Garner, R. and R. Kelly, British Political Parties Today, 2nd Ed. (1998), Ch.2.

Heffernan, Richard (2003) ‘Political Parties and the Party System’, in P. Dunleavy, A. Gamble, R. Heffernan and G. Peele (eds), Developments in British Politics 7. Basingstoke: Palgrave..

‘Jenkins Commission’ (Independent Commission on the Voting System). Report presented to Parliament by the Secretary of State for the Home Department by command of Her Majesty, October 1998. UK Government Collection, 42+(11184) or



http://www.archive.official-documents.co.uk/document/cm40/4090/4090.htm

Johnston, Ron, Charles Pattie, Danny Dorling and David Rossiter (2001). From Votes To Seats. The Operation Of The UK Electoral System Since 1945. Manchester: Manchester University Press.

Jones, Bill. ‘Reforming the Electoral System’, in Jones, Bill (ed.). Political Issues in Britain Today (1999).

Sartori, Giovanni (1976). Parties and Party Systems. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.

Webb, Paul (2000). The Modern British Party System. London: Sage, Chs.1-2.

Webb, Paul (2002) ‘Political Parties in Britain’, in Paul Webb et al, Political Parties in Advanced Industrial Democracies. Oxford: Oxford University Press.

Webb, Paul and Justin Fisher (1999), ‘The Changing British Party System’ in D. Broughton and M. Donovan (eds.), Changing Party Systems in Western Europe. London: Pinter.

Wilson, Graham (1994). ‘The Westminster Model in Comparative Perspective’, in I. Budge and D. McKay (eds), The Developing British Political System. London: Sage.




4. Voting Behaviour In Britain: From Class Voting to Consumer Choice

Is the cleavage structure in Britain fundamentally different from the rest of Western Europe? If so, why?

What is class voting? To what extent does class influence the way Britain votes?

‘Class is the basis of British party politics; all else is embellishment and detail’ (Pulzer). Is this view still valid in the 1990s?

What are the advantages and potential hazards of the “issue voting” approach to explaining electoral behaviour?

To what extent can the political success of Thatcherism be explained in terms of a fundamental shift in British voting behaviour?

Has the British electorate become more right-wing in the last 30 years?

Can electoral change in Britain be explained in the same terms as electoral change in the rest of Western Europe?


Essential:

Heath, Anthony, Roger Jowell and John Curtice (2001). The Rise of New Labour. Party Policies and Voter Choices. Oxford: Oxford University Press. E-books

Clarke, Harold, David Sanders, Marianne Stewart and Paul Whiteley (2004). Political Choice in Britain. Oxford: Oxford University Press, Chs.1-3. E-books

Denver, D. (2003), Elections and voting behaviour in Britain, 3rd edition, Basingstoke: Palgrave, Chs.3-5.


Further

On the Class Voting Paradigm:
Lipset, S.M.and Rokkan, S. (1967). Cleavage Structures, Party Systems, and Voter Alignments: An Introduction, in Lipset, S.M. & Rokkan, S. (eds.), Party Systems and Voter Alignments: Cross-National Perspectives. New York: Free Press; abbreviated text in Mair, P. (ed.) (1990). The West European Party System. Oxford: University Press, Chapter 9.

Butler, D. and Stokes, D. (1974). Political change in Britain, 2nd edition, London, MacMillan, Chaps. 2-9.

Goldthorpe, John H. (1999). ‘Modelling the Pattern of Class Voting in British Elections 1964-92’, in Geoffrey Evans (ed.) The End of Class Politics? Class Voting in Comparative Context. Oxford: Oxford University Press, pp.59-82. Ebooks

Dalton, R., Flanagan, S. (1984). Parties Under Stress: Realignment and Dealignment in Advanced Industrial Societies, West European Politics 7: 7-23; abbreviated version in Mair, P. The West European Party System, Chap.16.

Denver, D. & Hands, G. (eds.) (1992), Issues and controversies in British electoral behaviour, London, Harvester, parts 3-5.

Crewe, I. (1981), "Why the Conservatives won",in Penniman, H. (ed.), Britain at the polls, Washington, American Entreprise Institute.

Sarlvik, B. and Crewe, I. (1983), Decade of dealignment. The Conservative victory of 1979 and electoral trends in the 1970s, Cambridge, Cambridge University Press.

Franklin, M.N. (1985), The decline of class voting in Britain: Changes in the basis of electoral choice, 1964-83, Oxford, Clarendon, Ch.1-5.



On Recent Elections:
Paulson, B. (1994) ‘The economy and the 1992 election: Was 1992 Labour's golden chance?’, in Heath, A., Jowell, R. & Curtice, J. (eds.) with Taylor, B. Labour's last chance?: the 1992 election and beyond. Aldershot, Hants: Dartmouth, Ch.6.

Geoffrey Evans and Pippa Norris (eds.) (1999). Critical Elections. British Parties and Voters in Long-Term Perspective, London: Sage, various chapters, in particular Chs.4-6, 8, 10-11.

Clarke, Harold, David Sanders, Marianne Stewart and Paul Whiteley (2004). Political Change in Britain. Oxford: Oxford University Press. E-books

Bartle, John and Samantha Laycock (2006). ‘Elections and Voting’, in P. Dunleavy, R. Heffernan, P. Cowley and C. Hay (eds), Developments in British Politics 8.



5. Party Ideologies in Britain: New Consensus or New Polarization?
Has Britain moved from consensus to conflict over the post-war period, or the other way around?

Is there anything distinctive about Blairism? Is there anything distinctive about Thatcherism?

Are British parties ‘cartel parties’?

Essential
Blair, Tony (1998). The Third Way: New Politics for the New Century. London: Fabian Society. (webpage)

Blyth, Mark and Richard Katz (2005). ‘From Catch-All Politics to Cartelization: The Political Economy of the Cartel Party’, West European Politics 28(1): 33-60. Click here

Katz, Richard and Peter Mair, ‘Changing Models of Party Organisation and Party Democracy: The Emergence of the Cartel Party’, Party Politics 1: 5-28 (1995) (also in Peter Mair, Party System Change, 1998). Click here

Webb, Paul (2004). ‘Party Responses to the Changing Electoral Market in Britain’, in Peter Mair, Wolfgang Mueller and Fritz Plasser (eds.), Political Parties and Electoral Change. London: Sage, pp.20-48.


Further
Blair, Tony (1994). Socialism. Fabian Pamphlet 565. London: Fabian Society.

Chadwick, A. and R. Heffernan (eds), The New Labour Reader (2003), Chapters 1-2.

Daniels, Philip (1998). ‘From Hostility to “Constructive Engagement”: The Europeanization of the Labour Party’, West European Politics 21: 72-96.

Crewe, I. & Searing, D. (1988). ‘Ideological Change in the British Conservative Party’, American Political Science Review 82: 361-84.

Giddens, A. The Third Way (1998).

Gamble, A. The Free Economy and the Strong State (1994).

Hall, Stuart (1983). ‘The Great Moving Right Show’, in Stuart Hall and Martin Jacques (eds.), The Politics of Thatcherism. London: Lawrence and Wishart.

Hay, Colin (1999). The Political Economy of New Labour. Labouring Under False Pretences?. Manchester: Manchester University Press.

Heath, Jowell and Curtice (2001). The Rise of New Labour. Oxford. E-books

Heffernan, Richard (2001). New Labour and Thatcherism. Basingstoke: Palgrave.

Katz, Richard (2001). ‘Are Cleavages Frozen in the English-Speaking Democracies?’, in Lauri Karvonen and Stein Kuhnle (eds.), Party Systems and Voter Alignments Revisited. London: Routledge, Ch.5.

Kelly, Paul ‘Ideas and Policy Agendas in Contemporary Politics’, in P. Dunleavy, A. Gamble, R. Heffernan, I. Holliday and G. Peele (eds), Developments in British Politics 7. Basingstoke: Palgrave, Ch.13.

McLean, Iain (2001). Rational Choice and British Politics. Oxford: Oxford University Press, Ch.8. Ebooks

Norton, P. (1996). ‘Philosophy: The Principles of Conservatism’, in Norton, P. (ed.). The Conservative Party. London: Harvester, Ch.4.

Walsh, James (2000). ‘When Do Ideas Matter? Explaining the Successes and Failures of Thatcherite Ideas’, Comparative Political Studies 33: 483-516.

Webb, Paul (2000). The Modern British Party System. Chs.3-4.

Webb, Paul (2002) ‘Political Parties in Britain’, in P. Webb et al, Political Parties in Advanced Industrial Democracies. Click here


6. Governing the British Economy (I): Rolling Back the State


Can the British economy be ‘governed’?

Is postwar British economic policy best explained in terms of continuity or change?



Essential
Crafts, Nicholas (1991). ‘Reversing Relative Economic Decline? The 1980s in Historial Perspective’, Oxford Review of Economic Policy 7: 81-98. Click here

Hall, Peter (1993). ‘Policy Paradigms, Social Learning and the State: The Case of Economic Policy-Making in Britain’, Comparative Politics 25(3): 275-96. Click here

King, Desmond and Stewart Wood (1999). ‘The Political Economy of Neoliberalism: Britain and the United States in the 1980s’, in Herbert Kitschelt et al (eds.), Continuity and Change in Contemporary Capitalism. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, Ch.13.




Further



Deakin, Simon and Hannah Reed (2000). ‘River Crossing or Cold Bath? Deregulation and Employment in Britain in the 1980s and 1990s’, in Gosta Esping-Andersen and Marino Regini (eds.), Why Deregulate Labour Markets? Oxford: Oxford University Press, Ch.5. E-books

Graham, Andrew (1997). ‘The UK 1979-95. Myths and Realities of Conservative Capitalism’ in Colin Crouch and Wolfgang Streeck (eds.), Political Economy of Modern Capitalism. London: Sage, Ch.6.

Hall, Peter (1986). Governing the Economy. The Politics of State Intervention in Britain and France. Cambridge: Polity.

Minford, Patrick (1988). ‘Mrs Thatcher’s Economic Reform Programme – Past Present and Future’, in R. Skidelsky (ed.), Thatcherism. London: Chatto & Windus, Ch.5.



7. Governing the British Economy (II): Bringing the State Back In?


Has New Labour’s economic policy been any different to that of its Conservative predecessors?

Is there any significant differences left between the British parties on economic issues?



Essential

Glyn, Andrew and Stewart Wood (2001). ‘New Labour’s Economic Policy’, in Andrew Glyn (ed.), Social Democracy in Neoliberal Times. Oxford: Oxford University Press, Ch.8. Click here

Hopkin, J. and D. Wincott (2006). ‘New Labour, Economic Reform and the European Social Model’, British Journal of Politics and International Relations, 8(1): 50-68. Click here

C. Hay, ‘Managing Economic Interdependence: The Political Economy of New Labour’, in P. Dunleavy, R. Heffernan, P. Cowley and C. Hay (eds), Developments in British Politics 8 (2006).



Further




Busch, Andreas (1994). ‘Central Bank Independence and the Westminster Model’, West European Politics 17: 53-72.


Grant, Wyn ‘Economic Policy’, in P. Dunleavy, A. Gamble, R. Heffernan and G. Peele (eds), Developments in British Politics 7 (2003). [CC] JN231 D48

Hay, Colin (1997). ‘Anticipating Accommodations, Accommodating Anticipations: The Appeasement of Capital in the Modernisation of the British Labour Party, 1987-92', Politics and Society 25 (2), 234-56.


Hay, Colin (1999). The Political Economy of New Labour : Labouring Under False Pretences? Manchester : Manchester University Press.

Hirst, Paul and Grahame Thompson (2000). ‘Globalization in One Country? The Peculiarities of the British’, Economy and Society 29: 335-56. Click here

Howell, Chris (1999). ‘Unforgiven: British Trade Unionism in Crisis’, in Andrew Martin and George Ross (eds.), The Brave New World of European Labour. New York: Bergahn.

Smith, David (2006). ‘The Treasury and Economic Policy’, in Anthony Seldon and Dennis Kavanagh (eds.), The Blair Effect 2001-5. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, pp159-83.

Taylor, Robert (2006). ‘Mr Blair’s Business Model – Capital and Labour in Flexible Markets’, in Anthony Seldon and Dennis Kavanagh (eds.), The Blair Effect 2001-5. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, pp184-206.

Vitols, Sigurt (2001). ‘Varieties of Corporate Governance: Comparing Germany and the UK’, in Peter Hall and David Soskice (eds.), Varieties of Capitalism. Oxford: Oxford University Press, Ch.10. E-books

Wood, Stewart (2001). ‘Business, Government and Patterns of Labour Market Policy in Britain and the Federal Republic of Germany’, in Peter Hall and David Soskice (eds.), Varieties of Capitalism. Oxford: Oxford University Press, Ch.7. E-books

8. Governing British Society (I): Thatcherism and the Dependency Culture


Why is social inequality such a problem in Britain?

Did the Conservative reforms of the 1980s bring about a fundamental shift in postwar British welfare policy?



Essential
Jenkins, Simon ‘Recent Trends in the UK Income Distribution: What Happened and Why?’, Oxford Review of Economic Policy 12 (1996), pp.29-46. Click here

Hills, John (2005). Inequality and the State. Oxford: Oxford University Press, Chs.1-8. E-books

Rhodes, M. (2000). ‘Restructuring the British Welfare State: Between Domestic Constraints and Global Imperatives’, in F. Scharpf and V. Schmidt (eds), Welfare and Work in the Open Economy. Vol II. Oxford: Oxford University Press. E-books

Wilding, Paul ‘The Welfare State and the Conservatives’, Political Studies (1997), pp.716-26. Click here



Further

Esping-Andersen (1990). The Three Worlds of Welfare Capitalism. Cambridge: Polity.

Glennerster, H. (2000). British Social Policy Since 1945. Cambridge: Blackwell.

Heclo, Hugh (1974). Modern Social Politics in Britain and Sweden: From Relief to Income Maintenance. New Haven: Yale University Press.

Jones, M. and R. Lowe (2002). From Beveridge to Blair. Manchester: Manchester University Press.

Pierson, P. (1994). Dismantling the Welfare State? Reagan, Thatcher and the Politics of Retrenchment. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.

Stewart, M. (1999). ‘Low Pay in Britain’, in P. Gregg and J. Wadsworth (eds.), The State of Working Britain. Manchester: Manchester University Press, pp.225-48.

Deakin, Nicholas (1994). The Politics of Welfare. London: Harvester.

Svallfors, S. and Taylor-Gooby, P. (eds.) (1999). The end of the welfare state?: responses to state retrenchment. London ; New York : Routledge.

9. Governing British Society (II): The Survival of the Welfare State

Are British political parties committed to the welfare state?

What, if anything, is distinctive about the British welfare state?

Assess the impact of New Labour’s welfare policies since 1997.


Essential
Driver, Stephen (2006). ‘Modernizing the Public Services’, in Patrick Dunleavy, Richard Heffernan, Paul Cowley and Colin Hay (eds), Developments in British Politics 8.

Hills, John (2005). Inequality and the State. Oxford: Oxford University Press, Chs.9-11. E-books

Hills, John and Kitty Stewart (eds) (2005). A More Equal Society? New Labour, Poverty, Inequality and Exclusion. Bristol: The Policy Press.

Shaw, Jonathan (2005). Inequality Under Labour. London: Institute for Fiscal Studies. Click here

Further
Brewer, Mike, Alissa Goodman, Jonathan Shaw and Luke Sibieta (2006). Poverty and Inequality in Britain: 2006. London: Institute for Fiscal Studies. Click here

Denham, Andrew (2003). ‘Public Services’, in P. Dunleavy, A. Gamble, R. Heffernan and G. Peele (eds), Developments in British Politics 7.

Glennerster, Howard (2006). ‘The Health and Welfare Legacy’, in Anthony Seldon and Dennis Kavanagh (eds.), The Blair Effect 2001-5. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, pp.283-305.

Stewart, Kitty (2006). ‘Equality and Social Justice’, in Anthony Seldon and Dennis Kavanagh (eds.), The Blair Effect 2001-5. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, pp.306-335.

Toynbee, Polly and David Walker (2001). Did Things Get Better? An Audit of Labour’s Successes and Failures. London: Penguin.

Toynbee, Polly and David Walker (2005). Better or Worse? Has Labour Delivered? London: Bloomsbury, Chs1-2.

Wilding, P. (1999), ‘The Debate About the Welfare State’, in Jones, W. (ed.). Political Issues in Britain Today. Manchester: Manchester University Press, 5th edition.

10. Constitutional and Political Change: Has New Labour Made a New Britain?


Has New Labour Made a New Britain?

Why has Britain’s constitution changed so little over the last century?

Has devolution strengthened or weakened the British state?

Is Britain more democratic after Labour’s constitutional reforms?


Essential
Barnett, Hilaire (2002). Britain Unwrapped. Government and Constitution Explained. London: Penguin, Ch.4.

Dunleavy, Patrick; Margetts, H.; Smith, T.; Weir, S. 'Constitutional Reform, New Labour in Power and Public Trust in Government.' Parliamentary Affairs 54, no. 3 (2001), pp. 405-24.



Toynbee, Polly and David Walker (2005). Better or Worse? Has Labour Delivered? London: Bloomsbury.
Hopkin, J. (2007). ‘New Labour, New Britain?’, in Ron Tiersky and Erik Jones (eds.), European Today. New York: Rowman and Littlefield, forthcoming. Click here
Further
Adams, John and Peter Robinson (eds.) (2002). Devolution in Practice. Public Policy Differences Within the UK. London: IPPR.

Bogdanor, Vernon (1998). Devolution in the United Kingdom. Oxford: Oxford University Press, Chs.1-6.

Bradbury, Jonathan and James Mitchell (2001). ‘Devolution: New Politics For Old?’, Parliamentary Affairs 54: 257-75.

Flinders, Matthew (2003). ‘New Labour and the Constitution’ in Ludlam, S & Smith, M (eds.) New Labour: Politics and Policy Under Blair. London: Palgrave, pp. 126-143.

Mitchell, James (2003). ‘Politics in Scotland’, in P. Dunleavy, A. Gamble, R. Heffernan and G. Peele (eds), Developments in British Politics 7. Basingstoke: Palgrave, Ch.9.

Tonge, Jonathan (2003). ‘Politics in Northern Ireland’, in P. Dunleavy, A. Gamble, R. Heffernan and G. Peele (eds), Developments in British Politics 7. Basingstoke: Palgrave, Ch.10.

Peele, Gillian (2003). ‘Politics in England and Wales, in P. Dunleavy, A. Gamble, R. Heffernan and G. Peele (eds), Developments in British Politics 7. Basingstoke: Palgrave, Ch.11

Bogdanor, Vernon (2003). ‘Asymmetric Devolution: Towards a Quasi-Federal Constitution?’, in P. Dunleavy, A. Gamble, R. Heffernan and G. Peele (eds), Developments in British Politics 7. Basingstoke: Palgrave, Ch.12.

McGarry, J. & O’Leary, B. (1995). Explaining Northern Ireland. Oxford: Blackwell.
 

Additional Essay Questions:


1. ‘Class is the basis of British party politics; all else is embellishment and detail’ (Pulzer). Is this view still valid in the 1990s?

2. ‘It was issues that won the 1979 election for the Conservatives (...). Their success came from saying the right thing about the right issues’ (I. Crewe). Can the issue voting approach explain the Conservatives’ electoral dominance in the period 1979-97?

3. To what extent can the emergence of Thatcherism be explained in terms of a fundamental shift in British voting behaviour?

4. Assess the importance of ‘pocket-book’ voting in recent British elections.

5. What would be a likely ‘revisionist’ response to the recent Labour victory?

6. On the basis of available knowledge on voting behaviour in Britain, what advice on electoral strategy would you give to the Conservative Party leadership?

7. What are the implications of the decline in partisan identification amongst British voters?

8. Can Britain’s high levels of social inequality be explained in terms of the nature of the British party system?

9. To what extent can historical factors account for the British two-party system?

10. Can the electoral success of Thatcherism be explained by the decline of class voting in Britain?

11. To what extent does public opinion determine the behaviour of British parties?

12. Stephen Driver and Luke Martell describe Blairism as ‘the politics of post-Thatcherism’. Do you agree with them?

13. Does the British party system reflect British society in any way?

14. Are British parties ‘catch-all’ parties?

15. Is politics in Britain fundamentally different from politics in the rest of Western Europe?

16. Does devolution constitute a challenge to the British political tradition?

17. Can anything be done about poverty in Britain?

18. Is Britain a democracy?

19. Is British politics becoming ‘Americanized’?

20. Has the New Labour project been successful?







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