Exploring British Politics  book cover
5th Edition

Exploring British Politics

ISBN 9780367142407
Published December 30, 2020 by Routledge
682 Pages 37 Color & 1 B/W Illustrations

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Book Description

Exploring British Politics is a concise, comprehensive, and accessible guide to the subject. Fully updated and revised, the new edition covers developments since 2016 in the role of the executive, Parliament, the civil service, political parties, general elections, party ideology and membership, as well as examining turmoil and leadership battles within the Labour and Conservative parties, the politics of growing inequality, demographic trends and their political consequences, and the future of the UK itself. Stimulating critical analysis and lively debate, it provides new perspectives on two key themes – the health of British democracy and the transition from traditional models of government to more flexible forms of ‘governance’.

Key features include:

  • a comprehensive analysis of the 2019 general election, Brexit developments since the 2016 Referendum to today’s ongoing negotiations, and the shadow cast by the COVID-19 global pandemic and its implications;
  • topical coverage of the fall of the Corbyn and May leaderships, the new Starmer and Johnson era, the rise and fall of the ‘Change UK’ party, the economic crisis, the role of special advisers, new social movements such as Extinction Rebellion and Black Lives Matter, and much more;
  • extensive guides to further reading at the end of each chapter; and
  • rich illustrations visually representing examples and data.

Whilst the book provides an essential historical background, contemporary issues are to the fore throughout and readers are encouraged to assess critically received wisdoms and develop their own thoughts and ideas. Whether studying the subject for the first time or revisiting it, Exploring British Politics is the ideal undergraduate text.

Table of Contents


Part I: Context

1. Understanding British Politics

2. Analysing British Politics

3. UK Government in Context: From Attlee to Blair

4. Economy and Society

5. The Media and Communications

Part II: Constitution and Institutions

6. The Constitution

7. The Core Executive

8. Parliament

9. The Judiciary and the Law

Part III: Multi-level Governance

10. The Changing State

11. Local Government to Local Governance

12. Devolution

13. The UK and the European Union

Part IV: Political Parties

14. UK Party Systems

15. Party Organisation

16. Ideology and Party Competition

Part V: Participation

17. Elections and Electoral Systems

18. Voting Behaviour

19. Participation Beyond Elections

Part VI: Conclusions

20. Governance and Democracy in the UK

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Mark Garnett is senior lecturer, Department of Politics and International Relations, Lancaster University, UK.

Peter Dorey is professor of British politics, School of Law and Politics, Cardiff University, UK.

Philip Lynch is associate professor in politics in the Department of Politics and International Relations, University of Leicester, UK.


"One of the best British Politics texts on the market: comprehensive but approachable, up-to-date but historically aware, it strikes just the right balance between fine-grained analysis and sheer readability."

Tim Bale, Queen Mary University London, UK.

"Exploring British Politics provides an authoritative and up-to-date introduction to the key institutions and processes of British politics. At a time of considerable flux and fragmentation in the UK political system, this book gives students the opportunity to explore key debates – from the role of Parliament to Britain's relationship with the European Union – that look set to shape our politics long into the future."

Patrick Diamond, Queen Mary University London, UK.

"This is the premier textbook of British politics available on the market today. It’s gauged appropriately for university-level students, well written, and insightful. My US-based students find the book to be interesting reading and I would not wish to teach without this most excellent of texts, which lays the foundation for my lectures brilliantly."

Heather Mbaye, University of West Georgia, USA.

"Exploring British Politics is pitched perfectly to both students completely new to the British political system and those who are steeped in its complexities."

Craig Ortsey, Purdue University Fort Wayne, USA.

"Once again, Garnett, Dorey and Lynch offer a clear and accessible introduction to some complex political issues, neatly capturing the changing landscape of British politics. This superb book remains a go-to book for all political science students."

Louise Thompson, University of Manchester, UK.

"This updated edition of Exploring British Politics provides a clear and thought-provoking assessment of recent developments in British politics and is an invaluable resource for both students and teachers. The book provides a comprehensive analysis of a wide range of issues and debates in Britain today."

Samantha Wolstencroft, Manchester Metropolitan University, UK.