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PSC 321: British Politics

Lectures, including other material, related to

Philip Norton, The British Polity, 4/e

revised 16 Feb. 2016, by Jeremy Lewis
with removal of another lecture to PowerPoint slides.

Ch. 1: The Contemporary Landscape
Ch. 2: The Political Culture
Ch. 3: Past & Present
Ch. 4: The Uncodified Constitution
Ch. 5: The Electoral System
Ch. 6: Political Parties
Ch. 7: Interest Groups: Insiders or Outsiders?
Ch. 8: Executive: Gov't at the Center
Ch. 9: The European Union: Government Above the Center
Lecture Notes on European Community
Ch. 10: New Assemblies: Gov't Beyond Center
Ch. 11: Local Gov't: Below the Center
Ch. 12: Parliament: Commons and Lords
Ch. 13: Monarchy: Above the Fray?
Ch. 14: Enforcement: Courts & Police
Ch. 15: Communication and Feedback, The Mass Media
Ch. 16: Flux and Strength: A book with Two Themes


Chapter 1:  The Contemporary Landscape

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Chapter 2: The Political Culture
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Chapter 3: Past & Present
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Ch. 4: Uncodified Constitution
by Jeremy Lewis, partly following Norton's structure
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Ch. 5 The Electoral System

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Norton Ch.6: Political Parties....A Two Party System?
[My own version, though related to the chapter]
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Norton 7 - Interest Groups

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Norton 8 - The Executive

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Material from Jeremy Lewis, notes from class discussion, 2 March 2010
Powerful Prime Minister
Restraints on Prime Minister
Patronage power:
  • Appoints 25,000 positions
  • Appoints 100 ministers and PPS
  • Appoints 20 cabinet ministers
  • Lords (life peers of all parties)
  • highly prestigious positions in UK
  • government service prestige
  • Post Thatcher, move top CS around
  • Committee appointments
  • MPs: withdrawal of whip possible
Limits on who can serve
Within governing party only: ministers 
  • (except Lords and positions outside government)
  • Many positions are expected to be nonpartisan (but Thatcher)
  • Factions within party need to be represented (except Thatcher 1983-7)
  • Limits on loyalty
  • those MPs without ambition
  • those MPS who are not suitable for government office (talent, scandal, weaknesses)
  • ingrates and disappointed candidates
  • ambitious rivals
  • Controlling cabinet
  • choose committees
  • civil service committees
  • right of summing up & minutes
  • collective responsibility
  • cabinet reshuffles and axing
  • Limits on controlling cabinet
  • leaks to press via lobby system
  • cabals and rebellions
  • only some are talented managers
  • some factions may have to be included
  • some may resign on principle (Robin Cook, 2003)
  • with large majority, more rebels
  • lack of experience of PM in office (Blair, Cameron)
  • Controlling public relations
    • US presidential influence
    • TV and media age
    • Blair extremely tight on PR
    • Cameron professional PR before PM
    Limits on control
    • public dislike of US managed PR
    • Blair accused on PR rather than serious reform
    • BBC interviewers have Oxford degrees, equally formidable
    • Jeremy Paxman v Ann Coulter (YouTube)
    • message may be rejected anyway
    • "rent a quote" mob criticism
    Outcome of control of cabinet:
    • Mrs Thatcher controlled policy 1983-87
    • Blair controlled policy 1997-2007
    Outcome of restraints:
    • Her own party rejected her in 1990
    • poll tax rebellion against her policy
    • Blair forced to retire despite winning 3 elections
    • general elections may be lost
    • Conservatives eat their failed leaders
    • leadership elections now are annual in the parties



    Chapter 9, The European Union: Government Above the Center
    1957 Treaty of Rome: 3 pillars, ECSC, Euratom and EEC
    1961-3 DG vetoes British application
    1967 EC created from merger of 3 pillars
    1973 UK became a member, incorporated 42 volumes of EC law
    1986 single European Act (single market)
    late 1980s Thatcher renegotiates British deal, but does not withdraw
    1990-92 Major negotiates British option to join Euro via ERM (snake in tunnel)
    1992 Maastricht treaty on political union ...
    issues of sovereignty, federalism versus subsidiarity, QMV, expansion
    1993 TEU effective 1 Jan.
    development of common policies, politics and institutions
    QMV for most issues, replaces unanimity
    enlargement to Eastern Europe and mediaterranean
    1998 ECB
    1999 Eurozone of 11 countries (not UK)
    Lecture Notes on the European Community,
    Jeremy Lewis, Spring 2012
    drawing upon part of a PowerPoint for our class by Wing Cmdr Christopher Luck, MBE MA RAF
    additional comments and explanations were inserted in class.
    SCOPE
    Background
    The Historical Drivers for the formation of the EU
    The EU today
    A comparison of the EU and US
    Same concerns and ambitions, different perspectives
    The Historical Drivers for the EU
    Violence
    "A day will come when all the nations of this continent, without losing their distinct qualities or their glorious individuality, will fuse together in a higher unity and form the European brotherhood. A day will come when there will be no other battlefields than those of the mind - open marketplaces for ideas. A day will come when bullets and bombs will be replaced by votes". -- Victor Hugo
    The Historical Drivers for the EU
    Peace, safety and security
    Economic and social solidarity
    Promote the European model of society
    Democracy
    Economic prosperity
    Health
    Education
    Human Rights
    KEY DATES & HISTORIC STEPS
    COMMON POLICIES are extensive:
    Economy & Society:
    Agriculture
    Audiovisual
    Biotechnology
    Civil Society
    Competition
    Consumers
    Culture
    Customs Union
    Economic $ monetary
    Education
    Employment
    Energy
    Enterprise
    Environment
    Fisheries
    Food Safety
    Information society
    Internal market
    Justice
    Public health
    Regional policy

    R & D
    Space
    Sport
    Taxation
    Trans-European network
    Transport
    Youth

    International Affairs: The EU in the World

    Institutional Affairs: Governance
    The Future of Europe-debate

    Finance:
    Budget
    Fight against Fraud
    Grants
    Public Procurement

    KEY EU TREATIES
    1951 Paris Treaty of the European Coal and Steel Community (ECSC)
    1957 Rome Treaty of the European Economic Community (EEC) and the European Atomic Energy Community (Euratom)
    1965  A treaty is signed merging the executive bodies of the three Communities and creating a single Council and Commission
    1970 Luxembourg Treaty allows the European Communities to be increasingly financed from "own resources" and giving greater powers to the European Parliament
    1975 Luxembourg Treaty is giving the European Parliament greater power over the budget and setting up the European Court of Auditors. It comes into force on 1 June 1977
    1986 (2/17 Luxembourg and 2/28 Hague ) The Single European Act.  This paves the way for creating the single market by 1993
    1990 Schengen Agreement abolishes checks at the borders between member states of the European Communities
    1992 Maastricht Treaty on European Union
    1997 Amsterdam Treaty gives the European Union new powers and responsibilities
    2001 Nice Treaty changes the EU's decision-making system so that the Union will be ready for enlargement. It comes into force on 1 February 2003
    EU-US Data
    “If I want to talk to Europe, who do I phone?“
    BACKGROUND SUMMARY
    Peace & stability based
    European regeneration
    Organization of sovereign states
    Confederation
    Increasing integration
    “How deep a Union?”
    Constitution
    EU - USA
    Same, but different in some respects
    NATIONAL STRATEGIES
    “A Secure Europe in a better world” – European Security Strategy (December 2003)
    Also known as “Solana Paper”
    “The National Security Strategy of the United States of America (September 2002)
    EU VS US STRATEGIC OBJECTIVES
    Addressing Threats
    Building Security in Neighborhood
    International Order based on effective Multilateralism (UN)
    Robust Economy
    More unified Voice
    KEY THREATS
    Threats
    Terrorism
    Proliferation of WMD
    Regional Conflicts
    State Failure
    Organized Crime
    ARE THE USA AND THE EU DRIFTING APART?
    Perception Gap
    Strategy Gap
    Capabilities Gap
    Attitude Gap
    Value Gap
    Religious Gap
    PERCEPTION GAP
    EU does not consider itself at war
    “Europe has never been so prosperous, so secure nor so free”
    Europe old Vulnerability
    Terrorism already in 70s
    USA considers itself at war
    New US Vulnerability
    STRATEGY GAP
    New Imperialism or Noble Idealism?
    European doubts:
    Legitimacy (UN/Customary Law/Just War?)
    Feasibility (better end state?)
    Consistency (longer than one administration?)
    Risks (escalation?)
    Motives (national interest?)
    CAPABILITIES GAP
    Rapid increase of US Military Power in 90s
    Sole military Superpower
    EU has very limited ability for military power projection
    ATTITUDE GAP
    EU Multilateralism
    Largest share of Peacekeepers and international policemen
    EU Soft Power
    Europe prefers the use of economy as main instrument of power
    US Unilateralism
    Coalition of willing
    US Hard Power
    Military superiority causes the US to seek primarily military solutions
    VALUE GAP
    EU believes in democratic legitimacy from the will of an international community
    US believes in special legitimacy of their own democracy
    US believes that their values are significant for mankind and are therefore universal
    RELIGIOUS GAP
    Europeans see Americans as ‘fundamental’ Christians where as they see themselves as secular Christians
    “Evil Empire” (USSR)
    “Axis of evil” (North Korea, Iran, Iraq)
    Schiavo Case/Gay Marriages/Stem Cell Research/Faith-Based Initiative
    UNILATERALISM VS MULTILATERALISM
    CONCLUSION
    Peace and security wanted - economic cooperation was the first step.  It has kept the peace.
    Churchill’s premise of “jaw, jaw not war, war”



    Norton 10 - New Assemblies

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    on Norton 11 - Local Government

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    Chapter 12 - Parliament: Commons and Lords

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    Ch. 13: Monarchy: Above the Fray?

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    Ch. 14: Enforcement: Courts & Police

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    Ch. 15, Communication and Feedback, The Mass Media


    My conception of the main national British media, as supporting the parties:
      Labour and New Labour
    Liberal Democrats
    non- partisan
    Conservative
    Highbrow New Statesman The Guardian The Independent
    The Economist
    The Daily Telegraph
    The Spectator
    Middle brow The Daily Mirror The Express
    Lowbrow
    (Gutter)
    News of The World (gossip, T&A)
    The Sun (but mostly T&A, lottery)
    old or new 
    media
    Formerly: 
    The Daily Worker (used to be communist paper, but very low circulation)
    Formerly: 
    The News Chronicle
    The Daily Sketch
    By law:
    BBC News, BBC 2
    BBC HD news channels
    BBC web
    Independent TV News (ITN)
    Channel 4 (culture, indie documentaries)
    Rupert Murdoch's media:
    The Times
    Sky News (satellite, 2000s)



    Ch. 16, Flux and Strength: A book with Two Themes

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