Catalog description: 321. British Politics. Sem. 1; Cl. 3; Cr. 2-3.
Ideas, institutions, policies and processes of British liberal democracy. The role of the Prime Minister, Cabinet, Monarch, political parties, House of Commons and House of Lords. Impact of the European Union, the welfare state, the political parties, and political concepts such as social democracy. Foreign and domestic policy topics, such as the Falklands /Malvinas battle, official secrecy, and privatization or "Thatcherism".
201 or 212 or permission of instructor prerequisite.
Student Learning objectives: students will demonstrate knowledge of, and critical thinking about
You will learn through texts and a few video documentaries about the development of the modern Britain, spotting both similarities and contrasts with American ideas. You must expect to discuss current British affairs, such as a political crisis. You should become familiar with the House of Commons debates and question time, and leaders such as Winston Churchill, Margaret Thatcher and Tony Blair. You will also consider the roles of monarchs such as Henry VIII, James I, and Elizabeth I and II in an established church.
- the ideas, institutions, policies, and development of modern British politics
- the impact of the European Union and other constitutional developments
- political concepts, such as social democracy and the welfare state
- modern domestic and foreign policy dilemmas and current affairs
Thus you will experience the modern, comparative approach as well as the traditional historical method; and a topical or policy approach as well as the institutional method.
The style of the course will be a reading-based seminar with students contributing essays, presentations and a research paper. Equipment and time permitting, we shall also explore British sources on the World Wide Web.
Books & Materials:
Norton, Phillip. 2011. The British Polity. 5th edition. NY: Longmans. (The leading historical text).
Heffernan, Richard, et al, eds, 2011. Developments in British Politics, Nine. St. Martin /Palgrave Macmillan. (The leading critical anthology text).
Allen, Nicholas and John Bartle (eds), Britain at the Polls 2010. Sage Publications Ltd. (Excellent anthology series on British elections, valuable for term papers on British election topics.)
Curtis, Michael (ed) The Great Political Theories, vols I and II (the political science companion reader, useful in all PSC classes.) Selected readings relevant to British politics (such as King James I, the utilitarians, Adam Smith, Herbert Spencer, the socialists and marxists.)
Supplementary Materials: Current material on British government will be shown in multimedia form, via Dropbox, linked on the web -- or in a ring binder on library Reserve. Documentary videos will be inserted only where time permits. You should also watch the House of Commons question time and debates on C-SPAN, Sunday evenings. BBC World News is found on some digital TV services and sometimes on APTV at 11:30 weeknights.
Behavior: you are expected to comply with the HC Honor Code and with specific rules placed on our Requirements page above.
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