British Politics : The Basics book cover
2nd Edition

British Politics
The Basics

ISBN 9780367189549
Published November 4, 2020 by Routledge
464 Pages 21 B/W Illustrations

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Book Description

Fully updated and expanded, the second edition of this still compact text on British politics expertly analyses the major changes in British political life, placing them revealingly within the context of the evolution of British society from absolute monarchy to representative democracy.

The author considers each of the major components of British politics in digestible chapters, such as the Monarchy and the House of Lords, the Commons, voting behaviour, parties and pressure groups, the prime minister and cabinet, devolution, local government, and foreign policy. The book includes two new chapters on the EU referendum and Brexit, and the extraordinary December 2019 election, as well as coverage of events such as the coronavirus pandemic, and the respective travails of the increasingly split two major political parties.

This readable and comprehensive introduction will be of key interest to A-level students, undergraduates and those new to the study of British politics.

Table of Contents

Part I: Introduction

1. British Politics in Flux

2. The Evolution of Britain’s Political System

Part II: The Political Context

3. Introductory Overview of the British Political System

4. The Social and Economic Context

5. Political Culture

6. The Flexible Unwritten Constitution

7. Political Ideas I: Up to New Labour

8. Political Ideas II: From New Labour to Brexit

Part III: The Mediating Agencies

9. Political Parties

10. Pressure Groups

11. The Mass Media

Part IV: The Legislature

12. The Monarchy

13. The House of Lords

14. The House of Commons

15. Voting Behaviour in the UK

16. The 2019 General Election

Part V: The Executive

17. The Prime Minister and Cabinet

18. Ministers and Civil Servants

19. Policy-Making in British Government

Part VI: Sub-national Government

20. Devolution

21. Local Government: Provenance and Decline

22. The Judiciary and Politics

23. The Extraordinary Brexit Saga

24. Britain and the World

25. Concluding Comments: An Uncertain Future

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Bill Jones is Senior Honorary Research Fellow at Liverpool Hope University where he was formerly Professor of Politics and History.


"So much changed in British politics between 2015 and the 2020s. Only a genuine expert could explain successfully its significance within a broader understanding of the Basics of that politics. Unsurprisingly Bill Jones is the author who has achieved that."

Alan Ware, Worcester College, University of Oxford, UK

"Comprehensive enough to tell students what they need to know yet concise enough to ensure it's a resource to which they will want to return to again and again, this update is a very welcome addition to introductory texts on the ever-changing politics of the UK."

Tim Bale, Queen Mary University of London, UK

"Bill Jones manages to cover an amazing amount of ground in this clear and succinct book. It works brilliantly as a compact introductory guide to the British political system, to its history and wider context, and to British politics today."

Kevin Theakston, University of Leeds, UK