790-310 - Government of Britain and the Commonwealth 790310...

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Unformatted text preview: Government of Britain and the Commonwealth 790310 Rutgers University Spring 2009 T _F 9:15—10:35 Dr. William Field Hickman 214 wfrfieidifircixutgersedu Office hours: TF 12:20—1:15 pm https://sakai.rutgers.edu Office: Hickman 411 The United Kingdom offers many paradoxes. Many view the country’s political system as the mother of pariiaments, and the cradie of fiberty. To be sure, The Engfish parliamentary system has spreaci'across the world and is the dominant method of distributing executive and legislative power. In addition, England gave the world the first check on executive power (1215), the invention of habeas corpus (1679), and'the first Bill of Rights (1685). On the other hand, executive power in the UK is often called an elected dictatorship, and modern-day Britons seem not to be troubled by prolonged detention Withouttriai', Offifi‘ai secrets, a semi-eiecteci‘ upper house, and on campaign contributions. Another element of British politics is its ethnic diversity: what we often refer to'as “England” is in fact a mix of three or four nations: England, Scotland, Wales, and (northern) Ireland. The governing apparatus for these is one of the most centralized states in the world, where parliamentary sovereignty'is unchecked by any written constitution and all subnational power that has been devolved can be taken back agatn attire stroke ofthe prime minister's pen. There are other contradictions: The UK is part of Europe, yet rarely agrees with its continental neighbors on policy and is often accused by them of being more American than European. The UK is a small country with a glorious empire in its history, and continues to exert world influence because of that history. We will explore these contradictions as we explore the country, its people, and its politics. The major emphasis of the course is the UK’s political system, and we will delve into related topics such as ethnonationalism, the weather, and the quirks of the English temperament. Some time (not enough for some students, i fear) wiii be spent looking at the CDmmonweaith —those ex-coionies which have chosen to retain some tenuous connection with the Empire. We’ll also look at the future, as the UK confronts the world economic crisis, increased sovereignty pooling with other EU members, and war in iraq and Afghanistan. READING MATERIAL l have assigned 3 texts for the class. All are available in the Douglass Coop bookstore. You might be able to order the Fox text online, but I don’t recommend trying for the others. Bill Jones, et al., Politics UK 6th ed. Pearson: Longman, 9781405824118. (httg:Z(cat.rutgers.eduZintegritylpolicy.html#Cheating). Please familiarize yourselves with university policy. I have found that most instances of plagiarism have occurred out of ignorance, but Rutgers University insists on following a standard response procedure. Note that all instances of suspected plagiarism and cheating will be evaluated in accordance with university procedures. LECTURE SCHEDULE January 20 introduction and course overview January 23 Historical context Jones et al., chest r 2 January 27 The Social and economic context Jones et al., chapter 3 January 30 Social class in the UK Fox, pp. 25—30, 61-71, 73—81, 295-323 Heath, et al., Understanding Political Change: The British Voter 1964-87, pp. 62-67 (on sakaD Norris, Electoral Change Since 1945, pp. 118-129 (on sakai) February 3 Political ideas, UK-style Jones et al., chapters 3 and 4 Femuar-y 6‘ UK Paties, aaevewiew Jones et al., chapter 6 The representative process February 10—13 Political parties Jones et al., chapter 12 Bartle and King, chapter 2 February 13 Elections Jones et al., chapter 8 February 17 Voting Behavior Jones et al., chapter 9 Bertie and King, chapter 3 February 20 The UK as a multinational state Apfil17 April 21 Apfil24 April 28 May 1 May 11 8—11 am. Final exam NOTE: THIS IS A MONDAY Jones et al., chapter 27 Northern Ireland Jones et al., chapter 30 Law and Order (and terrorism) Jones et al., chapter ‘25 Britain and Europe Jones et al., chapter 31 Labour: a look back jones ef ail, chapter 32' Bartle and King, chapter 9 Paper due What it is to be English Fox, pp. fififilnfi'li ...
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790-310 - Government of Britain and the Commonwealth 790310...

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