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British Politics For Dummies, 2nd Edition

British Politics For Dummies, 2nd Edition

Julian Knight, Michael Pattison

ISBN: 978-1-118-97152-9

Jan 2015

424 pages



Your updated and revised guide to British politics

So, you want to be knowledgeable about British politics but don't know where to start? You've come to the right place! British Politics For Dummies is your essential guide to understanding even the trickiest questions surrounding politics in the UK. In no time, you'll have the confidence to discuss the ins and outs of past and present elections, political leaders, parties and ideologies.

Packed with understandable information on the origins, history and structure of the UK parliamentary system, British Politics For Dummies offers a fascinating glimpse into the rollercoaster world of politics. Explaining everything from key political ideologies and the spread of democracy to the current election process and the differences between political parties, this hands-on, friendly guide is an ideal companion to British politics and elections.

  • Includes expanded coverage of coalition governments, devolution and independence efforts
  • Provides updated information on UKIP and Britain's place in Europe
  • Serves as a helpful guide to elections and British political parties—electoral systems, voting behaviour and trends and the role of pressure groups and the media
  • Offers a fascinating examination of British politics on the world stage

Whether you want to get to grips with British politics and government or build your knowledge beyond the basics, this updated edition of British Politics For Dummies is the place to start.

Introduction  1

Part I: Getting Started with British Politics  5

Chapter 1: Taking in the Political Universe  7

Chapter 2: Understanding Why Politics and Politicians are Important  21

Chapter 3: Looking at Participatory Democracy  35

Chapter 4: Examining Political Ideologies  49

Chapter 5: Forming the British Political State  67

Part II: Elections and Britain’s Parties  81

Chapter 6: Counting the Votes: Differing Electoral Systems  83

Chapter 7: Voting Behaviour and Trends  99

Chapter 8: Homing in on Political Parties  117

Chapter 9: Piling on the Pressure Groups  141

Chapter 10: Scrutinising Politics and the Media  161

Chapter 11: Taking Politics to the Masses: Social Media 175

Part III: The Ins and Outs of Parliament  183

Chapter 12: Examining Britain’s Constitution  185

Chapter 13: Britain’s Parliamentary Democracy  199

Chapter 14: Gazing at the Summit: The PM and Cabinet  221

Chapter 15: Assessing Ministers and Civil Servants  237

Chapter 16: Taking in the Courts and Judiciary  249

Chapter 17: Laying Bare Local Government and Devolution  261

Chapter 18: Focusing on Devolution and the Independence Debate  271

Part IV: Politics Worldwide  291

Chapter 19: Understanding Britain’s Place in the World  293

Chapter 20: Taking In the International Stage  303

Chapter 21: Expanding Horizons: Europe and the EU  317

Chapter 22: Leading the Free World: US Politics  335

Part V: The Part of Tens  353

Chapter 23: Ten Great Prime Ministers 355

Chapter 24: Ten Major Political Scandals  363

Chapter 25: Ten Political Events That Shaped the Modern World  371

Chapter 26: Ten Political Trends for the Future  379

Index  385

“…presented in the same style that has made the Dummies series such as a success, it assumes no knowledge…..if you have questions that seem too basic to ask anyone, or you want to fill in some gaps in your knowledge, this book will be a useful addition to your bookshelf or e-reader” (The Sunday Post, May 2015)