British Politics: The Basics: 1st Edition (Paperback) book cover

British Politics: The Basics

1st Edition

By Bill Jones


328 pages | 16 B/W Illus.

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Paperback: 9780415835718
pub: 2015-12-08
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Over the last two decades British politics has undergone a remarkable transformation. While some components of the system have been eroded, such as voter turnout and membership of the big parties, other parts have flourished, such as nationalist parties, the insurgent UKIP, as well as the new media.

British Politics: The Basics analyses these changes and places them within the context of the evolution of British society from absolute monarchy to representative democracy. It considers each of the major components of British politics, 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. Its contents include coverage of recent events such as the Scottish Referendum and the 2015 General Election.

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


‘This book does "what it says on the tin": it introduces students to the fundamentals of British politics. It does so without compromising on historical context or failing to mention the key debates in each topic. I recommend it to any student looking for a short but wide-ranging book to give them a thorough grounding in British Politics.’ - Professor Daniel Stevens, University of Exeter, UK

‘Bill Jones has produced yet another clear and concise introductory text on British politics. Whilst condensed, this book provides a coherent foundational knowledge of the discipline, and as such, promises to be a popular choice amongst undergraduate students in particular.’ - Dr Oliver Harrison, Nottingham Trent University, UK

Table of Contents

Section 1 Introduction 1 Introductory Overview of British Political System 2 Evolution of the British Political System Section 2 The Political Context 3 Political Culture 4 Social and Economic Context 5 The Unwritten Constitution 6 Political Ideas Section 3 The Mediating Agencies 7 Political parties 8 Pressure Groups 9 The Mass Media Section 4 The Legislature 10 The Monarchy 11 The House of Lords 12 Voting Behaviour 13 House of Commons Section 5 The Executive 14 Prime Minister and Cabinet 15 Ministers and Civil Servants 16 Policy-Making Section 6 Sub-National Government 17 Devolution 18 Local Government: Provenance and Decline 19 The Judiciary and Politics 20 Britain and the World 21 Conclusion: British Politics in Flux Glossary

About the Author


Bill Jones

Liverpool, , United Kingdom

Learn more about Bill Jones >>

Bill Jones was formerly Director of Extra-Mural Studies at Manchester University 1986-91, Professor of Politics and History at Liverpool Hope University, UK, and is now Senior Honorary Research Fellow at the same university.

About the Series

The Basics

The Basics is a highly successful series of accessible guidebooks which provide an overview of the fundamental principles of a subject area in a jargon-free and undaunting format.

Intended for students approaching a subject for the first time, the books both introduce the essentials of a subject and provide an ideal springboard for further study. With over 50 titles spanning subjects from Artificial Intelligence to Women’s Studies, The Basics are an ideal starting point for students seeking to understand a subject area.

Each text comes with recommendations for further study and gradually introduces the complexities and nuances within a subject.

Learn more…

Subject Categories

BISAC Subject Codes/Headings:
POLITICAL SCIENCE / Government / National