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British Government and Politics A Comparative Guide

ISBN-10: 074862323X

ISBN-13: 9780748623235

Edition: 2006

Authors: Duncan Watts

List price: $26.00
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Description:

This core text meets the needs of those involved in courses relating to the British political system. The author examines the institutions and practices of British government and politics and makes selective comparisons with the experience of other countries, mainly liberal democracies. In each chapter, there is a general comparative analysis of the theme, followed by a thorough examination of the situation in Britain. Three examples from overseas are then briefly explored. Key Features: ? accessibly written, reliable and up-to-date ? offers an interesting and penetrating analysis of the political scene in Britain ? uses information and examples derived from the 2005 election ? informs the discussion of British politics by making appropriate international comparisons
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Book details

List price: $26.00
Copyright year: 2006
Publisher: Edinburgh University Press
Publication date: 7/11/2006
Binding: Paperback
Pages: 416
Size: 5.50" wide x 8.50" long x 1.00" tall
Weight: 1.298
Language: English

Duncan Watts was a teacher and examiner in Government and Politics. He was prominent in the Politics Association Resource Centre, for which he wrote and edited many books and other materials.

List of boxes
List of tables
Leaders of the two main parties in Britain since 1945
US presidents since 1945
Votes and seats in British general elections since 1945
The Setting of British Politics: British Society and the British People
Introduction
The historical background
British society and the British way of life
Underlying British ideas and values
The Constitution and the Protection of Rights
The Constitution
The growth of interest in constitutional revision
The purpose and content of constitutions
The characteristics of constitutions
The Constitution of the United Kingdom
The Blair government and the Constitution
A defence of the Government's record on constitutional reform
An attack on the Labour record
The protection of rights
The protection of rights in Britain
The case of France
The case of South Africa
The case of the USA
The Legislature
Introduction
What is the legislature?
The main functions of legislatures
The structures of legislatures
The British House of Lords
The main functions of the House of Commons
A watchdog over government
Elected representatives: the duties and responsibilities of British MPs
Parliamentary reform in recent years
The social composition of elected legislators
The pay and conditions of legislators
The case of Denmark
The case of the European Parliament
The case of the USA
The Executive
Some matters of definition
Parliamentary and presidential systems of government
The role of political executives
The distribution of power within political executives: the trend towards first ministerial dominance
The British Cabinet
The role of Prime Minister
The debate about prime ministerial power
Constraints on the British Prime Minister
British ministers and their civil servants
The conventions of ministerial responsibility
The case of Brazil
The case of Holland
The case of the USA
The Judiciary
Judicial independence
Judicial neutrality
Functions of judiciaries
The growing importance of judicial review
The developing trend towards judicial activism
The politicisation of British judges: growing judicial activism
The case of the European Court on Human Rights
The case of the USA
The case of dictatorships across the world: degrees of judicial independence
Government beyond the Centre
Unitary, federal and confederal states
Devolved government in the United Kingdom
Devolution: the case of Wales
Is Britain becoming a federal state?
The European dimension
English local government
The case of France
The case of Spain
The case of the USA
Political Parties
Introduction
The functions of political parties
Types of party systems
The British two-party system
The attitudes and beliefs of political parties
Left and right in British politics
The British Conservative Party
The Labour Party
Blairism in practice: 1997 onwards
Third and minor parties in Britain and elsewhere
Party membership and finance
Party organisation: general trends
The organisation of British political parties
Party conferences in Britain
Party leaders: how they are chosen by the main British parties
The powers and security of party leaders
The decline of political parties: do they still matter?
The case of France
The case of Italy
The case of the USA
Pressure Groups
Group activity in modern societies: pressure groups and movements
Pressure groups and political parties: their differences and similarities
Classifying pressure groups
The methods employed by pressure groups
The European dimension to pressure group activity
Pressure groups in the Thatcher to Blair years
Factors influencing the success of different groups
The benefits and disadvantages of pressure groups
The case of France
The case of Scotland
The case of the USA
Voting and Elections
General considerations
Election campaigning
British election campaigns and campaigning
Electoral systems
Types of electoral system
The 2005 election in the United Kingdom
Some arguments surrounding the debate over FPTP versus PR
Voting behaviour and turnout
The case of the United Kingdom
Turnout in elections
Turnout in the United Kingdom: the 2005 election
Direct democracy: initiatives and referendums
The use of referendums in the United Kingdom
The case of France: the use of referendums
The case of Germany: voting behaviour
The case of the USA: election campaigning
Democracy in Theory and Practice
Democracy in vogue
The development of democracy
Democracy: its main forms
The characteristics of representative democracies
Other forms of democracy
British democracy in practice
References
Index