The British Political Process: An Introduction

The British Political Process: An Introduction

The British Political Process: An Introduction

The British Political Process: An Introduction


British Political Process: An Introduction is an exciting new text for students which clearly and simply explains the workings of the British political system. Written by those close to the political process, it provides an authoritative, reliable and manageable guide to understanding all the key elements of government and politics in Britain. It begins by placing British politics in context and then explores those areas which feature on British Politics courses. Benefits to students include: * an exploration of the key areas, including: the constitution; elections; parties; pressure groups and lobbying; media; parliament; Whitehall; the Prime Minister and Ministers; the EU; devolution; and the future of British politics * government documents which give unique insights into actual political processes, as well as figures, cartoons and tables which illustrate and summarise information and statistics in an accessible way * appendices provide useful information such as: a glossary of terms; a chronology of events; a digest of facts; and a guide to politics on the internet * a knowledgeable and experienced team of writers who offer a unique insight into British political processes.


There are many textbooks on British politics and some justification is needed for producing another one.

With such texts becoming ever bulkier, we wanted to try to produce an introductory textbook of manageable length that would cover the essential ground in an accessible and coherent way. We wanted it to be authoritative, providing a reliable guide to how the political process works, while also raising issues and questions. We hoped that the fact that it is written by people who are close to the political process, although from different vantage points, would help in our task. It is for others to judge how far we have succeeded.

The book is a collective enterprise, although individual contributors have concentrated on the preparation of particular chapters: the editor for Chapters 1, 4 and 10; Barry Winetrobe for Chapter 2; Oonagh Gay for Chapters 5 and 8 and, with Rob Clements, for Chapter 3; Edward Wood for Chapter 6 and, with Alison Weston, for Chapter 9; and Paul Seaward for Chapter 7. Janet Seaton and Rob Clements prepared much of the material in the appendices. However, all the chapters went through many drafts in which several hands were involved. Only the editor takes responsibility for everything, especially any expressions of opinion, while all the other contributors were involved only in their personal (rather than professional) capacity.

We would like to express our thanks to the Librarian of the House of Commons and to the Clerk of the House for their support and encouragement in making a book like this possible.

Tony Wright
House of Commons, October 1999

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