In the past two years we have had two official ‘stock takes’ of equality from the National Equality Panel and the Equality & Human Rights Commission, revealing the true contours of inequality in Britain. But with 1200 pages of detailed data, it can be difficult to see the big picture. Ben Baumberg summarises the messages from LSE’s key contributors to the reports, and argues that policy needs to reflect both the broad canvas and the individual brush strokes of inequality in order to successfully tackle it.
John Collins sets the current hegemonic drug prohibition regime in its historical context and suggests that Britain has an opportunity to radically rethink its attachment to this failed model, and begin instituting more pragmatic,
beneficial and cost effective policies.
Tim Bale argues that the Conservatives may find it very difficult to avoid promising an in/out referendum on EU membership at the next election, and the Labour Party may well follow suit. With that referendum comes the serious possibility that Britain will cease to be a member of the Union.
This article assesses the ways in which a British decision to leave the European Union (Brexit) would affects the United Kingdom’s relationship with the Western Balkans. In the first instance, it shows that it would almost certainly reduce its influence over Bosnia and Herzegovina and its ability to shape the process of engagement between Serbia and Kosovo. At the same time, the UK would find that it would gain no material advantage in terms of its ability to handles other regional issues that may have a direct or indirect effect on Britain, such as illegal migration and the flow of fighters from the Balkans into Syria. Meanwhile, other forms of influence, such as the United Kingdom’s major role in NATO or its permanent membership of the UN Security Council, would be diminished as a result of a ‘Brexit’.
In the edited collection Britain Votes 2015, editors Andrew Geddes and Jonathan Tonge present essays analysing the main issues and outcomes of the 2015 UK General Election. Offering a concise and well-rounded account of an election often promoted in the media as one of the most unpredictable of recent times, this book is recommended reading for students of contemporary British politics, writes Gordon Bannerman
"Political Parties in Britain." Matt Cole and Helen Deighan. Edinburgh University Press. July 2012. ---
This introductory textbook examines the factors contributing to a political party’s fortune and identity. Authors Matt Cole and Helen Deighan examine Britain’s main political parties as well as ‘peripheral’ parties including the BNP and UKIP. Eunice Goes writes that Political Parties in Britain is a highly informative, accessible and up-to-date introductory text that should be included in all British politics reading lists.
"The Great University Gamble: Money, Markets and the Future of Higher Education." Andrew McGettigan. Pluto Press. April 2013. ---
In The Great University Gamble, Andrew McGettigan surveys the emerging brave new world of higher education, asking what the role of universities within society might become, how they might be funded, and what kind of experiences will be on offer for students. Written in a clear and accessible style, this book outlines the architecture of the new policy regime and tracks the developments on the ground. Even the most sceptical reader must see in this dossier that the government has a case to answer that these reforms are not in the public interest, writes Paul Benneworth.
Portrait of a Party: The Conservative Party in Britain, 1918-1945. Stuart Ball. Oxford University Press. April 2013. --- The Conservative Party is the least investigated and understood of British political parties, despite its long record of success. Using an original approach and a wide range of sources, Stuart Ball analyses the nature and working of the Conservative Party during one of the most significant and successful periods in its history. Academic historians will likely find Ball’s study a fruitful endeavour, especially if they are working on related or tangential historical themes, concludes Jason Brock.
"The Politics of Expertise: How NGOs Shaped Modern Britain." Matthew Hilton, James McKay, Nicholas Crowson and Jean Francois Mouhot. Oxford University Press. October 2013. --- The Politics of Expertise offers a challenging new interpretation of politics in contemporary Britain, through an examination of non-governmental organisations. Using specific case studies of the homelessness, environment, and international aid and development sectors, it seeks to demonstrate how politics and political activism has changed over the last half century. There’s a compelling argument in this book that to understand modern politics one has to understand NGOs, concludes Martin Hearson.
Britain is now isolated as the only EU country to walk away from negotiations to rework the Lisbon treaty in order to save the euro. Simon Hix argues that David Cameron has chosen to take a disastrous course of action that imperils both the economic health and political sustainability of the UK
Written in the public glow surrounding the Queen’s Diamond Jubilee, The Grand Delusion is a critical history of Britain’s post-war establishment, with the Queen and her Prime Ministers at its heart. It explores the key questions: has Elizabeth II’s reign been good for the UK? Or has it represented six decades of missed opportunities, deepening inequality and failure to adapt? Paul Ward finds out more.
The Grand Delusion: Britain after Sixty Years of Elizabeth II. Stephen Haseler. IB Tauris. August 2012.
The government is requiring that voters in all major English cities decide in May 2012 whether they want to bring in elected executive Mayors (on the London model). To shed light on the wider debates a Warwick University Commission headed by Professor Wyn Grant has been investigating existing experience, both in Britain and overseas.
Affluence, Austerity and Electoral Change in Britain sets out to investigate the political economy of party support for British political parties since Tony Blair led New Labour to power in 1997. Using valence politics models of electoral choice and marshalling a wealth of survey data collected in the British Election Study’s monthly Continuous Monitoring Surveys, the authors trace forces affecting support for New Labour during its thirteen years in office. This is truly a jewel in the crown of British analytical social science, writes Ron Johnston.
"The Great Rivalry: Gladstone and Disraeli: A Dual Biography." Dick Leonard. IB Tauris. June 2013. --- Benjamin Disraeli and William Ewart Gladstone are without doubt the two most iconic figures of Victorian politics, whose distinctly different personalities and policies led to 28 years of bitter political rivalry. In The Great Rivalry, Dick Leonard aims to provide the full story of their rivalry and its origins, comparing the upbringing, education and personalities of the two leaders, as well as their political careers. A thoughtful and rewarding read, finds Richard Berry.
"The Socialist Way: Social Democracy in Contemporary Britain." Roy Hattersley and Kevin Hickson (eds.). I.B. Tauris. June 2013. --- In 2010, the Labour Party suffered its second-worst general election defeat since the 1930s. Since then, the debate over both the legacy of New Labour and the future direction of the party has been widespread, yet so far there has been little input from a democratic socialist viewpoint. The chapters in this book aim to provide new perspectives in the areas of economic, social and foreign policy with a central focus on the defence of the state. Daniel Sage encounters some unoriginal essays and arguments, but overall recommends this collection to students of political science and economics.
"The Political Integration of Ethnic Minorities in Britain." Anthony F. Heath, Stephen D. Fisher, Gemma Rosenblatt, David Sanders and Maria Sobolewska. Oxford University Press. August 2013. --- In this book the authors set out to explore the extent and nature of the political integration of Britain’s growing ethnic minority population. The analysis is based on the largest and broadest academic survey ever of the political attitudes and behaviour of Britain’s main ethnic minority groups, the 2010 Ethnic Minority British Election Study, in conjunction with the nationally representative British Election Study and other surveys. Ron Johnston finds that this book represents quantitative social science at its very best: theoretically-driven, sophisticatedly-designed, and excellently presented.
Barack Obama’s uniquely participative 2008 campaign for the American presidency, prompted progressive parties around the world to learn new lessons. Now, after the rise of the radical right Tea Party movement, and Democrat setbacks at the 2010 American mid-terms, it is clear that liberals enjoy no monopoly on the combination of de-centralized grassroots activism and innovative technology. Nick Anstead and Will Straw update their previous advice to Labour on reviving the party by strengthening ‘low engagement’ contacts. Labour’s key challenge still remains to let go of its top-down, monolithic structures, in order to reach out to millions of new supporters and once again lead progressive politics in Britain.
The ‘new Labour’ governments of Tony Blair and Gordon Brown altered the societal landscape in the UK. But did they fundamentally change Britain? In a new book, David Walker and Polly Toynbee take an in-depth and balanced look at the achievements of the Labour project. There were some policy successes, and the authors give Labour 6 out of 10 for these. Yet the party lacked an overall vision or narrative, and so squandered its opportunity to push the UK in a more social democratic direction
"Governing Britain: Power Politics and the Prime Minister." Patrick Diamond. I.B. Tauris. November 2013. --- In this book, Patrick Diamond examines the administrative and political machinery serving the Prime Minister, and considers how it evolved from the early years of New Labour to the election of the Coalition Government in 2010. The author attempts to provide an analysis which considers the continuing power of the civil service, the tensions between permanent officials and political aides, and the hard grind of achieving change from the centre in Whitehall. While the author has a clear, readable style and his arguments feel considered and well thought through, Matthew Wargent finds that the real strength of this book lies in the data he has to offer.