British Polity

ISBN-10: 0321216660
ISBN-13: 9780321216663
Edition: 5th 2010 (Revised)
Author(s): Philip Norton
Description: The British Polity is an engaging and comprehensive survey of the structure and process of British government. Offering an insider's analysis, Philip Norton examines the debates surrounding Britain's political history and culture, constitution,  More...
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List Price: $92.47
Edition: 5th
Copyright Year: 2010
Publisher: Routledge
Publication Date: 2/9/2010
Binding: Paperback
Pages: 496
Size: 6.00" wide x 9.00" long x 1.25" tall
Weight: 1.672
Language: English

The British Polity is an engaging and comprehensive survey of the structure and process of British government. Offering an insider's analysis, Philip Norton examines the debates surrounding Britain's political history and culture, constitution, parties and elections, branches of government, media, and relations with the European Union. Throughout, The British Polity follows a theme of continuity and change that draws on historical and institutional knowledge and that helps to explain contemporary British politics."This is the best book available on British government. Norton explains perfectly how institutions work in practice as well as in theory; he gives a nuanced and balanced picture of both structure and process."James Alt, Harvard University

#60;b#62;Philip Norton#60;/b#62; (Lord Norton of Louth) is Professor of Government and Director of the Centre for Legislative Studies in the University of Hull. His publications include 28 books, including #60;i#62;Parliament in British Politics#60;/i#62; (2005), #60;i#62;The British Polity#60;/i#62; (2010) and #60;i#62;Parliaments in Western Europe#60;/i#62; (3 vols, 1990,1996). He has served as President of the Politics Association and of the British Politics Group in the USA and as co-chair of the Research Committee of Legislative Specialists of the International Political Science Association. He was elevated to the peerage and served as first Chairman of the House of Lords Select Committee on the Constitution.

Preface
Introduction
The Contemporary Landscape
Land and Population
Linguistic and Racial Differences
Religion
Class
Education
Marriage, Family, and Social Demography
Employment
Personal Wealth and Taxation
Conclusion
The Political Culture
Political Socialization
Family
Education
Occupation
Location
Mass Media
A Complex Mix
The Political Culture
Orientation toward Problem Solving
Orientation toward the Political System
Orientation toward Cooperation and Individuality
Orientation toward Other People
Adapting or Declining?
Past and Present: Historical Perspective and Legacies
Historical Perspective
The Emergence of Parliamentary Government
The Welfare State and the Managed Economy
The Politics of Thatcher and Blair
Great Britain or Little England?
Legacy of Empire
Legacy of War
Legacy of Class
Legacy of Political Institutions
The Political Environment
The Uncodified Constitution
Forms of Expression
Sources
Means of Amendment
Interpretation
Main Provisions
Parliamentary Sovereignty
The Rule of Law
Unitary (or Union) State
Parliamentary Government under a Constitutional Monarchy
The Changing Constitution
European Union Membership
Constitutional Reform under a Labour Government
Conclusion
The Electoral System: Campaigns, Voting, and Voters
The Electoral Structure
Electors
Constituencies
Campaigns
Candidates
Candidate Selection
Elections
Voting Behavior
Explanations of Voting Behavior
Class
Consumption
Location
Issues
Performance Evaluation
The Current Debate
A Dysfunctional Electoral System?
An Effective Electoral System?
A New Electoral System?
Alternative Electoral Systems
List System
Single Transferable Vote (STV)
Additional Member System (AMS)
Alternative Vote (AV)
Supplementary Vote (SV)
Alternative Vote Plus (AV PLUS)
Political Parties: More or Less Than a Two-Party System?
The Parties in Britain
The Conservative Party
Party Organization
Party Funding
The Labour Party
Party Organization
Party Funding
Third Parties
The Liberal Democrats
Scottish and Welsh Nationalists
Northern Ireland Parties
Other Parties
Decline in Two-Party Support
Structural Dealignment
Policy Orientation
Performance
Decline in Party Support
Disillusionment
Displacement
Disinterest
Conclusion
Interest Groups: Insiders or Outsiders?
Types of Interest Groups
Sectional Interest and Promotional Groups
Insider and Outsider Groups
The Development of Interest Groups
Sectional Interest Groups
Labor
Business
Agriculture
Promotional Groups
Relations with Government
Pluralism
Corporatism
Policy Networks
The Period up to 1979
Insider Croups: Institutionalization
Insider Croups: Tripartism
Outsider Groups: Greater Activity
From Tripartism to Pluralism: The Period of Conservative Government, 1979-97
High Policy: Exclusion
Medium and Low-Level Policy: Inclusion
Lobbying Government
Lobbying Parliament
Lobbying the European Union
Policy Networks: Lobbying under Labour
The Current Debate
Conclusion
Governmental Decision Making
The Executive: Government at the Center
The Structure
The Prime Minister
Prime-Ministerial Powers
The Cabinet
Ministers
Departments
Agencies
Civil Service
Nondepartmental Public Bodies
The Current Debate
The Presidential Model
The Baronial Model
The Bureaucratic Model
The Power Dependency Model
Conclusion
The European Union: Government above the Center
From Community to Union
Constitutional Implications
Economic Implications
Political Implications
Institutions of the European Union
Elections to the European Parliament
The Current Debate
The New Assemblies: Government Beyond the Center
Scotland and Wales
Demands for Devolution
The Scottish Parliament
The National Assembly for Wales
Northern Ireland
Background
"The Troubles"
Attempts to Achieve a Solution
The Anglo-Irish Agreement
The Downing Street Declaration
The Good Friday Agreement
Resolving the Conflict
Regional Government in England
The Current Debate
Conclusion
Local Government: Government Below the Center
The Changing Structure of Local Government
Reforms under a Conservative Government
Reforms under a Labour Government
The Changing Face of Local Government
Elections and Members
Powers and Finance
The Current Debate
Scrutiny and Legitimation
Parliament: Commons and Lords
The House of Commons
Members
Functions
Legislation
Executive Actions
Parliamentary Questions
Debates
Select Committees
Early Day Motions
Correspondence
Private Party Meetings
Links with the Citizen
The House of Lords
Membership and Function
Members
Functions
Parliamentary Reform
The House of Commons
The House of Lords
Retain
Reform
Replace
Remove Altogether
The Power of Parliament
The Decision-Making, or Pluralist, View
The Non-Decision Making (or Elitist) View
The Institutional View
The Monarchy: Above the Fray?
The Current Debate
The Exercise of Political Powers
The Cost and Activity of Members of the Royal Family
The Future of the Monarchy
Conclusion
Enforcement and Feedback
Enforcement: The Courts and the Police
The Judicial System
Criminal Cases
Civil Cases
The Judiciary
A Developing Constitutional Role
Greater Judicial Activism
Membership of the European Community
Constitutional Reform since 1997
The Police Force
Crime and the Fear of Crime
Corruption
Poor Relationship with Certain Communities
The Current Debate
Background and Recruitment of Judges
Miscarriages of Justice
A More Powerful Judiciary
Conclusion
Communication and Feedback: The Mass Media
The Press and Broadcasting in Britain
The Internet
Political Influence
The Current Debate
Privacy
Political Bias
Creating News
Publishing Offensive Material
Conclusion
Conclusion
Future Directions: The Polity under Challenge
The Extent of Change
Demands for Change
A Settled Polity
Demands for Change
Different Approaches to Constitutional Change
A Fundamental Divide
The Liberal Approach
The Traditional Approach
Problems for the Parties
External Challenges
Conclusion
Select Reading List
Glossary
Index

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