Politics UK  book cover
10th Edition

Politics UK

ISBN 9780367464028
Published July 29, 2021 by Routledge
824 Pages 177 Color Illustrations

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Book Description

This revised and updated tenth 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, an excellent grounding in British political history and an incisive introduction to the issues and challenges facing Britain today.

This edition welcomes three brand new chapters - ‘Elites in the United Kingdom’, 'Gender and British politics' and 'UK Immigration policy in hostile environment' -  alongside rigorously updated revised chapters. It delivers excellent coverage of contemporary events, with significant new material covering: the Johnson premiership and the national challenge of Covid-19, the end of the May premiership and the implementation of Brexit, the Labour Party’s transition from Corbyn to Starmer, infrastructure and innovation, 'fake news', populism and nationalism, the UK’s place in a post-Brexit world, climate change, social mobility and elite recruitment, devolution and regionalism, constitutional strain, the role of political advisers, abuse and incivility in politics and much more.

Other features of the new edition include:

  • A wide range of illustrative material, boxes and case studies providing illuminating examples alongside the analysis.
  • A comprehensive ‘who’s who’ of politics in the form of Profile boxes featuring key political figures.
  • And another thing . . . pieces containing short articles on salient and pressing topics, written by distinguished commentators including Sir John Curtice, Sir Simon Jenkins, Andrew Rawnsley, Baroness Julie Smith of Newnham, and Philip Collins.
  • Online interviews on the book’s website see notable figures from British political life discussing the pressing issues of today.

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


1. The Changing Context of UK Politics and Key Concepts in the Study of Politics

Bill Jones

2. The UK, the World and Europe

Russell Foster and Oliver Daddow

3. The Social and Economic Context

Kevin Hickson and Ben Williams

And another thing… Is Liberal Democracy Doomed?

Bill Jones


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… Parliament in Light of Brexit

Julie Smith


8. Elites in the United Kingdom

Bill Jones

9. Elections and Voting

David Denver

10. The Mass Media and Political Communication

Bill Jones

11. Gender and British Politics

Isabelle Hertner

12. Pressure Groups

Wyn Grant

13. Political Parties

Danny Rye

14. Devolution

Russell Deacon

And another thing… Who Votes Conservative?

Sir John Curtice


15. The Changing Constitution

Philip Norton

16. The Crown

Philip Norton

17. The House of Commons at Work

Philip Norton

18. The House of Commons Under Pressure

Philip Norton

19. The House of Lords

Philip Norton

And another thing… Localism in Decline

Sir Simon Jenkins


20. The Core Executive: Prime Minister and Cabinet

Philip Norton

21. Ministers, Departments and Civil Servants

Philip Norton

22. Local Government

Chris Game

23. The Judiciary

Philip Norton

And another thing… Special Advisors

Andrew Rawnsley


24. The Policy-Making Process

Bill Jones

25. The Politics of Law and Order

Bill Jones

26. Social Policy in the UK

Anneliese Dodds

27. Economic Policy

Wyn Grant

28. British Foreign and Defence Policy

Michael Clarke

29. Britain and the European Union

Charlotte Galpin

30. UK Immigration Policy in a Hostile Environment

Hannah Jones

And another thing… Has Civic Discourse Declined?

Philip Collins


Bill Jones

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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 teaching post at Liverpool Hope University being made a professor in 2009. Bill has maintained a fair publishing output and also occasionally broadcasts on radio and television. He now lives in retirement in Beverley, East Riding of Yorkshire, continuing with writing of various kinds, including non fiction and fiction, giving guest lectures and teaching adult classes on politics, mostly for the pioneering charity organisation, 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’.

Isabelle Hertner is a Senior Lecturer in the Politics of Britain in Europe at King’s College London. She researches political parties in Britain, Germany, France, and at the European Union level. Her research focuses on party organisations (and in particular, intra-party democracy and the role of members), policies (on the EU and immigration), and discourses (on gender). Isabelle is also the director of the Centre for German Transnational Relations at King’s College London, which analyses Germany in the European and global context across different disciplines. She teaches British politics, comparative European politics, and European gender politics.


"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."

Keith Dowding, Australian National University, Australia

"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."

Neal Glen Jesse, Bowling Green State University, USA

"Politics UK provides a thorough introduction to the main topics in political science and guides the reader through these topics in a way that is critical, clear and approachable."

Nora Siklodi, University of Portsmouth, UK

"It’s great to see the new edition of Politics UK. It is an excellent textbook and a super entry point to understanding more about British Politics. I love the way that the ‘and another thing’ sections bring stories that make the more academic material come alive. The updates are well addressed and it’s great to see the new material in the Representative process, updating the textbook with regards to contemporary concerns."

Joanie Willet, University of Exeter, UK