9th Edition

Politics UK

ISBN 9781138685086
Published April 23, 2018 by Routledge
730 Pages 154 Color Illustrations

USD $66.95

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Book Description

This revised and updated ninth edition of the bestselling textbook Politics UK is an indispensable introduction to British politics. It provides a thorough and accessible overview of the institutions and processes of British government, a good grounding in British political history and an incisive introduction to the issues and challenges facing Britain today, including the European referendum and Brexit.

The ninth edition welcomes brand new material from seven new contributors to complement the rigorously updated and highly respected chapters retained from the previous edition. It delivers excellent coverage of contemporary events including a new chapter on Euro-scepticism and the European referendum, an assessment of the performance of Labour’s leadership, the trials and tribulations of the Liberal Democrats and UKIP, and the evolving devolution debate in Scotland, led by the Scottish Nationalist Party.

Features of the new edition include:

  • Britain in context boxes offering contrasting international perspectives on key themes in British politics
  • A comprehensive ‘who’s who’ of politics in the form of Profile boxes featuring key political figures
  • And another thing . . . pieces containing short articles written by distinguished commentators including Mark Garnett, Sir David Omand, Richard Wilkinson and Sir Simon Jenkins
  • An epilogue analyzing the turbulent state of UK politics following the European referendum

With chapters written by highly respected scholars in the field and contemporary articles on real-world politics from well-known political commentators, this textbook is an essential guide for all students of British politics.

Table of Contents

Preface, Part I: Context, 1. The Changing Context of UK Politics and Key Concepts in the Study of Politics, Bill Jones, 2. The UK, the World and Europe, Oliver Daddow, 3. The Social and Economic Context, Kevin Hickson and Ben Williams, And Another Thing: Towards a More Equal Society, Richard Wilkinson and Kate Pickett, Part II: Defining the Political World, 4. Ideology and the Liberal Tradition, Bill Jones, 5. Political Ideas: the Major Parties, Bill Jones, 6. Political Ideas: Themes and Fringes, Bill Jones, 7. From Euro-scepticism to Brexit, Bill Jones, And Another Thing: ‘Fake News’ and our ‘Post-truth’ Political World, Bill Jones, Part III: The Representative Process, 8. Elections and Voting, David Denver, 9. The Mass Media and Political Communication, Bill Jones, 10. Parliamentary Representation, Byron Criddle, 11. Pressure Groups, Bill Jones, 12. Political Parties, Danny Rye, 13. Devolution, Russell Deacon, And Another Thing: Is the United Kingdom Doomed? Sir Simon Jenkins, Part IV: The Legislative Process, 14. The Changing Constitution, Philip Norton, 15. The Crown, Philip Norton, 16. The House of Commons at Work, Philip Norton, 17. The House of Commons Under Pressure, Philip Norton, 18. The House of Lords, Philip Norton, And Another Things: Does Britain Need a Federal Constitution? Mark Garnett, Part V: The Executive Process, 19. The Core Executive: Prime Minister and Cabinet, Philip Norton, 20. Ministers, Departments and Civil Servants, Philip Norton, 21. Local Government, Colin Copus, 22. The Judiciary, Philip Norton, And Another Thing: The Generalist Philosophy in British Public Administration, Sir David Omand, Part VI: The Policy Process, 23. The Policy-Making Process, Bill Jones, 24. The Politics of Law and Order, Bill Jones, 25. Social Policy in the UK, Anneliese Dodds, 26. Economic Policy, Wyn Grant, 27. British Foreign and Defence Policy, Bill Jones, 28. Britain and the European Union, Michael Holmes, And Another Thing: Lost an Empire, not yet Found a Role, David Sanders, Afterword: The General Election of 2017, David Denver

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Bill Jones joined the Extra-Mural Department at Manchester University in 1972 as the person in charge of politics and government, serving as Director 1987–92. He was Vice Chair and Chair of The Politics Association 1979–85, being made a Life Fellow in 2001. In 2006 he took up a part-time teaching position at Liverpool Hope University being made a professor in 2009. Bill also occasionally broadcasts on radio and television. He now lives in retirement in Beverley, East Riding, continuing with his writing and teaching adult classes for the University of the Third Age.

Philip Norton (Lord Norton of Louth) is Professor of Government at the University of Hull. When he was appointed in 1986, he was the youngest professor of politics in the country. He was also appointed Director of the University’s Centre for Legislative Studies in 1992. He is the editor of The Journal of Legislative Studies and chair of the Higher Education Commission. He is the author or editor of 32 books. He was elevated to the peerage in 1998. He chaired the Commission to Strengthen Commission, which reported in 2000, and was the first Chairman of the House of Lords Select Committee on the Constitution. He has been described by the House Magazine – the journal of the two Houses of Parliament – as ‘our greatest living expert on Parliament’.

Oliver Daddow is Assistant Professor in British Politics and Security at the University of Nottingham (2016–) and also a Bye Fellow at Robinson College at the University of Cambridge (2018). His main research interests are in Brexit, British European policy and Euroscepticism, and he is also the author of a textbook on International Relations Theory.


Politics UK provides a comprehensive and accessible account of the core institutions and mechanics of government, continually placing these in a conceptual context that urges the reader to assess critically the state of Britain today. Its palatable style will appeal to all students of politics, and is an indispensable introduction to the discipline’s core tenets. This revised edition triumphantly reflects on the contemporary issues of the day and, with the uncertainty to the political climate that Brexit brings, is a must on all British politics reading lists.

Dr Sarah Cooper, Lecturer in Politics, University of Exeter, UK


Politics UK provides a solid foundation on the key concepts and themes of British politics for undergraduate students at an American university. My students often begin their course with a cursory knowledge of British politics and thus I need a textbook that immerses them without overwhelming them— and Politics UK delivers exactly that. The material within each chapter of this edited volume provides the most substantial overview of British politics available while remaining accessible to students new to the subject. Of particular note are the inclusion of numerous charts, tables, figures and photographs that let my students 'see' British politics. In terms of comprehensive coverage, appropriate level of writing, helpful supplemental material and timely coverage of contemporary events, there is no better textbook on the market.

Professor Neal Glen Jesse, Department of Political Science, Bowling Green State University, USA


A truly comprehensive and authoritative guide on British politics written by some of the most astute commentators and political scientists on the subject. Up-to-date, well written, great for students starting out and useful for old hands wanting to check their facts.

Professor Keith Dowding, Department of Political Science and International Relations, Australian National University, Australia