Governing the UK: British Politics in the 21st Century / Edition 4

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This well-established textbook gives students a thorough understanding of the machinery and processes of government in the United Kingdom as well as of the forces shaping the country’s politics. For the fourth edition the text has been substantially updated to take account of the many significant shifts in British politics since 1997, especially the constitutional reforms of the 1997 Labour government.

  • Extensive annotated guides to further reading and suggested questions for discussion at the end of each chapter.
  • A greater use of illustrative material, case studies and graphics, which supplement the text in a lively manner.
  • Clear summaries of arguments and chronologies of complex events, as well as boxes giving biographical data on significant political figures.
  • A dedicated website,, features information on the book, sample chapters, updated articles so that teachers and students can be regularly updated between editions.
  • A range of Internet resources to encourage students to keep up-to-date with a rapidly changing subject matter.
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Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher
"The 4th Edition of this well-established textbook is exemplary...the material is well structured and coverage is comprehensive, with a judicious mix of historical background and contemporary analysis. Extensive use of figures and tables bring a wealth of empirical detail to the account, and useful text-boxes explain key concepts or offer biographical sketches of important figures. This book is a must-have for any serious student of British politics." Mathew Humphrey, School of Politics, University of Nottingham

'An invaluable introduction to and guide through governing the United Kingdom in the 21st century' Dr Nicholas J. Baldwin, Dean, Wroxton College of Fairleigh Dickinson University.

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780631226819
  • Publisher: Wiley
  • Publication date: 5/31/2004
  • Series: Modern Governments Series, #1
  • Edition description: REV
  • Edition number: 4
  • Pages: 596
  • Product dimensions: 6.80 (w) x 9.68 (h) x 1.26 (d)

Meet the Author

Gillian Peele is Fellow and Tutor in Politics at Lady Margaret Hall and University Lecturer in Politics at Oxford University. She has published widely on British and American Politics.

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Table of Contents

List of Figures.

List of Tables.

List of Boxes.

List of Maps.



List of Abbreviations.

1. The Changing Structure of British Government.

2. The Constitution.

3. The Character of the Modern British State.

4. The Executive.

5. The Civil Service.

6. Parliament.

7. The Electoral System.

8. Parties and the Party System.

9. Voting Behaviour, Public Opinion and the Mobilization of the Electorate.

10. Pressure Groups and Participation.

11. Government on the Ground: the Local Dimension.

12. The Diversity of the UK: Governing after Devolution.

13. The Courts and Civil Liberties.

14. Accountability and Control of Government.

15. Beyond The Nation State.

16. Conclusion.

Appendix: Legal Cases.

Key Concepts.

Internet Resource.

References and Bibliography.


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