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Unformatted text preview: CPS Notes Lecture 14 – October 30, 2006 I. British system a) Executive authority emanates from legislature i) Executive and legislature are fused b) At the same time, it is an old, united, conservative political system and society but on the other hand has undergone tremendous changes in the past 20 years i) Party system, class system, territorial structure of the state (1) Britain today is something close to a federation—extremely powerful local government in some of the regions (2) Something close to an asymmetrical federation c) Integrating more and more into the EU—devolution from London, and devolution to Brussels II. Continuity and Change in British Politics a) The sovereign—royal family—at the center of the system, but over last 150 years given up most powers to democratic institutions of the state b) Sense of conservatism, tradition, changing institutions gradually, not revolutionary c) 4 stages i) Reign of Queen Victoria (1837-1901) (1) Period of incredible transformation for Britain as a global power— expansion and height of empire, India made the crown of empire (2) Change in domestic politics (a) Expansion of suffrage to include all men of property (universal by 1928), expansion of the idea of governance by voting—legislature that has lots of power vis-à-vis the throne (b) Party system: Labour party on the left, right the Tory party representing landed interests (3) Creation of a modern civil service (a) Professional, doesn’t change depending on whims of party politics (b) Can be a bureaucrat not in one party or the other (c) This is carried over to many other countries, like the U.S. (4) Industrialization and modernization (a) Creation of the modern British state ii) World War II and Reconstruction (1940s-1970s) (1) WWII had a fundamental effect on the British national psyche, caused shakeup of society and nature of British politics as Britain had fended off a major invasion of the island itself (a) Was no longer separate from Europe, clearly a part simply because it was more vulnerable than previously believed (b) This is an opportunity but also can get problems from mainland (2) Welfare state (a) Creation, idea that government should be about leveling the playing...
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- Fall '08