Comparative Politics Today: A World View

By Gabriel A. Almond | Go to book overview

Chapter 8 Politics in England

RICHARD ROSE

Understanding England is important for a student of comparative politics, because England is a deviant case. Violence and revolution are common features of twentieth- century domestic politics in the largest nations of Europe: France, Germany, Italy, Russia, Poland, and Spain. Violence is also intermittently a feature of American political life. For the past three centuries, Englishmen have settled domestic political differences without resort to force.

Modern societies with stable governments are rare in today's world; many of the nations that merit this description owe much to the direct influence of England. The relationship between the United States and England is particularly close, because America, the first colony to revolt successfully against the Crown, was also the first major English colony to be planted in the New World. As Bernard Bailyn, the author of The Origins of American Politics, notes, "The pattern of political activity in the colonies was part of a more comprehensive British pattern and cannot be understood in isolation from that larger system."1 In spite of many quarrels and great changes -- in both England and America -- a special relationship still holds.

The significance of British political institutions is indicated by the widespread adoption of parliamentary forms in many other countries. Parliaments can be found in India and Canada as well as in England. But Pakistan and Northern Ireland have demonstrated that it is possible to imitate the form of British government without capturing its spirit.


Introduction

THE CONSTRAINTS OF HISTORY

England, unlike the United States, began to develop modern institutions in a feudal, agrarian society. The constitution prevailing

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1
( New York: Vintage, 1970), p. ix.

-131-

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Comparative Politics Today: A World View
Table of contents

Table of contents

  • Title Page iii
  • Preface v
  • Contents vii
  • Illustrations xi
  • Part I Introduction 1
  • Chapter 1 the Study of Comparative Politics 3
  • Chapter 2 Issues in Comparative Politics 14
  • Part II Political Processes 41
  • Chapter 3 Political Socialization and Political Culture 43
  • Chapter 4 Political Participation 57
  • Chapter 5 Interest Groups and Interest Articulation 73
  • Chapter 6 Political Parties and Party Systems 88
  • Chapter 7 Policy Making and Implementation 113
  • Part III Country Studies 129
  • Chapter 8 Politics in England 131
  • Chapter 8 Politics in England 131
  • Selected Bibliography 443
  • Index 449
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