Political Science at HC
Huntingdon College | Political Science | Courses | What's New?
Optional: purchase Union Jacks herePSC 321: British Politics

Patrick Dunleavy, Richard Heffernan, Philip Cowley & Colin Hay (eds)

Developments in British Politics, 8

Lecture Outlines

(all chapters are new since 6th edition)
revised 26 Jan. 2010, by Jeremy Lewis

Ch. 01: Patrick Dunleavy, et al., "Britain Beyond Blair -- Party Politics and Leadership Succession"

Key points by Jeremy Lewis, Spring 2010

Conservatives in C20th averaged 44% of polls, but in 2000s down to 31-34%.
What does the succession to Blair tell us about the Labour party's base and its future?
Hoped for revival under David Cameron, youthful, TV-friendly public relations officer.
Change in party system?
see fig. 1-1, party vote shares in PR and FPTP 2004-05
How are minor parties faring in each region, in PR elections versus FPTP elections?
Is the 2+ party system changing to a multiparty system?
Is New Labour now dominant in each region?
(Conservatives won in 1992, masking their decline)
To win in 2010, Conservatives need a swing like 1945 and 1997.
Leadership succession and political celebrity:
Is the main leadership quality now TV ability?
all three main parties endured changes of leadership, leading to young and TV appealing leaders in Con and Lib Dem.
Blair uniquely announced 2004 would step down 2005.
Economic Prosperity and Welfare State Modernization:
What causes the swing of the pendulum between major parties, and will it continue?
normal loss of approval advantages the opposition party over time
economic loss in 1992 almost threw out Con
economic problems could cost Labour the government
but Con needs large swing to avoid (a rare but much discussed) hung parliament
Top of page

Ch. 02: Richard Heffernan, "The Blair Style of Central Government"
key points by Jeremy Lewis
Did Blair's authority decline in office -- or did he find a way to maintain it?
Blair's majority declined Has British prime ministerial leadership become "presidential?"
Blair's authority in party likewise declined Did Blair exceed his authority, and fail in leadership?
Does Britain still have collegial cabinet government?
On which key issues did Blair fail to get his way?
Presidential model is inaccurate: What factors strengthen individual leadership over party and parliament?
Presidential model from 3 factors:
  • Thatcher & Blair
  • media personalization of politics
  • hollowing out of political parties, enabling control by leaders
  • Does the core-executive model better describe modern British government?
    Core-executive model (Dunleavy; Rhodes)
  • PM's office, Cabinet office and Treasury
  • coordination of policy
  • Government at the Center The PM and the Core Executive
    Blair's Prime Ministerial Autonomy
    The Limits to Prime Ministerial Authority
    The Tony Blair - Gordon Brown Axis 1997-2005

    Top of page

    Ch. 03: Philip Cowley, "Making Parliament Matter?"
    key points by Jeremy Lewis
    Parliament in perspective
    The constituency face
    Voting in the House of Commons
    Commons modernization
    The House of Lords

    Top of page

    Ch. 04: Sarah Childs, "Political Parties and Party Systems"
    key points by Jeremy Lewis
    Britain's party systems
    The main five parties
    Cartel or cadre?
    Choosing more diverse parliamentary candidates

    Top of page

    Ch. 05: Bartle and Laycock, "Elections & Voting"
    key points by Jeremy Lewis
    The 2005 election results
    Explanations of voting
    Sociological and social-psychological evidence from 2005
    Issue-voting evidence from 2005
    From modest plurality to comfortable majority
    What lies ahead?

    Top of page

    Ch. 06: William Maloney, "Political Participation beyond the Electoral Arena"
    key points by Jeremy Lewis
    Political participation and patterns of involvement

    'New' and 'Newer' types of participation

    Social capital

    Conclusion: groups, participation and democracy

    Top of page

    Ch. 07: Matthew Flinders, "The Half-hearted Constitutional Revolution"
    key points by Jeremy Lewis
    New Labour and the constitution

    Principled progress and retrospective reasoning, 2003-05

    Common themes 2001-05

    The Westminster model and multi-level governance

    Conclusion: the constitution and British democracy

    Top of page

    Ch. 08: Charlie Jeffrey, "Devolution and the Lopsided State"
    key points by Jeremy Lewis
    Recent developments in the four nations

    What the public thinks

    Devolution and policy variation

    Managing UK-devolved relations


    Discussion notes

    Welsh politics and culture


    economic factors: social factors: Devolution produced: Assembly of 60, elected by AM method

    Scottish Politics and Culture

    Institutional differences:

    Economy: Culture: "It's Scotland's Oil!" -- SNP, increased pride over North Sea oil
    Edinburgh parliament

    Top of page

    Ch. 09: Michael Smith, "Britain, Europe and the World"
    key points by Jeremy Lewis
    Europe in British government and politics

    British policy-making

    Britain in the European Union

    Britain, Europe and the world

    Conclusion: a complex imbalance?

    Top of page

    Ch. 10: Cox and Oliver, "Security Policy in an Insecure World"
    key points by Jeremy Lewis
    Britain and 9/11

    Britain and the Iraq war

    Britain between the US and Europe

    The Blair and Bush doctrines


    Top of page

    Ch. 11: Gillian Peele, "The Politics of Multicultural Britain"
    key points by Jeremy Lewis
    A diverse society
    The multiculturalism debate
    New Labour and multiculturalism
    Minority groups and the political process
    The politics of extremism

    Top of page

    Ch. 12: Michael Saward, "The State and Civil Liberties in the Post-9/11 World"
    key points by Jeremy Lewis
    Policies in question
    Political rhetoric and underlying ideals
    Security and protection: two competing ideas of democracy

    Top of page

    Ch. 13: Dominic Wring, "The News Media & the Public Relations State"
    key points by Jeremy Lewis
    Advertising and opinion research
    Public relations: spin and its discontents
    Reforming the public relations state: the Phyllis report 2004
    The propaganda war: sellilng the invasion of Iraq
    Power without responsibility?

    Top of page

    Ch. 14: Colin Hay, "Managing Economic Interdependence: The Political Economy of New Labour"
    key points by Jeremy Lewis
    The economic record
    How has the UK economy performed under New Labour?
    Can the growth be sustained? The distinctiveness of New Labour's political economy
    What theory of political economy does New Labour respond to?
    How did New Labour's abandoning traditional socialist ideology against capitalism fare once they got into power? The context reassessed: negotiating globalization How did New Labour's use globalization as a justification for changing its political economy?
    Tensions, contradictions and future prospects Conclusions

    Top of page

    Ch. 15: Stephen Driver, "Modernising the Public Services"
    key points by Jeremy Lewis
    Labour, social democracy and public services New Labour in power: 'modernising' public services Diversity, choice and public sector provision
    Conclusion: 'modernisation' and the social-democratic state

    Top of page

    Ch. 16: Andrew Gamble, "British Politics after Blair"
    key points by Jeremy Lewis
    The Thatcher legacy in British politics
    The Blair government
    Ideological alternatives
    Blairism without Blair

    Top of page

    Ch. 17: Patrick Dunleavy, "The Westminster Model and the Distinctiveness of British Politics"
    key points by Jeremy Lewis
    The Westminster model under pressure
    The reformist critique -- normalising British politics
    The drift of power from the UK state

    Top of page