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A short history
Graham Harrison

3 Africa–Britain: a short history Introduction This chapter makes a review of British-African interactions through history. It does not make a claim to anything but the most general review, and this is because the purpose here is simply to provide the general coordinates for the more detailed considerations of the historical changes in Africa’s representation in Britain in subsequent chapters. The focus is on the nature of the political relations between Africa and Britain and the main ways in which Africa has been ‘domesticated’ into the British polity. The

in The African presence
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England’s wider categories of belonging
Ben Wellings

’s commemorative time and energy went towards commemorating the bicentenary of the abolition of the slave trade within the British Empire. The centrepiece of commemorative events was the ceremony at Westminster Abbey in August, which was most notable for the incursion by Toyin Agbetu who made his protest so close to the person of the Queen. There are several explanations for the elision of the tercentenary of the Union between England and Scotland by the bicentenary of the abolition of slavery. The first was that for an external audience the abolition of slavery was a

in English nationalism, Brexit and the Anglosphere
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Geoffrey Bell

5 British questions Geoffrey Bell It is no longer the Irish question, it is the British question. (Kevin McNamara, Parliamentary Labour Party Spokesperson on Northern Ireland, 1991)1 In the spring of 1991, I interviewed several leading British politicians on their understanding of the historical and contemporary nature of the British–Irish conflict. All had recent experience of Northern Ireland. One was an MP who, as a soldier, had served in Northern Ireland; the rest had been or were either UK government ministers in Northern Ireland or party spokespeople on

in The Northern Ireland Troubles in Britain
The essentials
Series: Politics Today

'Politics' with a big 'P' is concerned with how we, individuals and groups, relate to the state. This book commences with a definition of political activity with a focus on conflict, and government and democracy. Britain is, arguably, the oldest democracy in the world, though it took many centuries for it to evolve into its current 'representative' form. Conflict resolution depends on the political system involved. The book draws together all the elements of government, explaining the British system of governance, which is democracy but utilises representatives. Civil service advises ministers and carries out the day- to-day running of government. The book then describes the transformation of the British system of governance from an absolute monarchy to a representative democracy. It examines how economic changes have affected Britain over the centuries, and presents some thoughts on the absence of a modern British revolution. It presents an account of Britain's economic history, the class developments and differences, and the absence of a modern revolution despite astonishing levels of income inequality. Factors that might influence the political culture of Britain are discussed next. The book also touches upon the sources of British constitution, the process of constitutional amendments prevailing in the U.S. and Britain, current British politics, and the development of pressure groups in Britain. Finally, the history of party government in Britain, and details of the Conservative Party, Labour Party, the Social and Liberal Democrats, House of Commons, and Britain's international relations are discussed.

Ministers, subversion and special operations, 1948–51
Daniel W. B. Lomas

-level steering group for Britain’s offensive Cold War activities, and its associated committee of officials, successively chaired by the Foreign Office officials Gladwyn Jebb and Pierson Dixon. While the work of the ministerial body remains shrouded in secrecy, new archival releases have made it possible to detail the development of Britain’s overseas Cold War strategy, approved by ministers in December 1950

in Intelligence, security and the Attlee governments, 1945–51
Bill Jones

Some countries have tended to avoid too much contact with the rest of the world – China for example until very recently – but Britain has long favoured an outward-looking stance and has sought to play a major role both militarily and diplomatically. Key national interests Britain’s national interests have been conditioned by a lack of plentiful natural resources and an island status that delivers a close relationship with the sea. Integrity of frontiers The English Channel was formed over 200,000 years ago and is 350 miles long by a width varying from

in British politics today
Neil McNaughton

Britain and Issues concerning the European womenUnion Britain and the European Union 249 16 ➤ The background to British membership ➤ The main impacts of British membership ➤ The ways in which the party system has been affected by the EU ➤ Future prospects for British involvement THE STORY OF BRITISH MEMBERSHIP Britain stays out When serious discussions began to establish a successor to the European Coal and Steel Community (ECSC) in 1956, Britain made it clear that it was not intending to join any new organisation. Prime Minister Harold Macmillan, a

in Understanding British and European political issues
Bill Jones

with political culture. For example, Russian history shows a marked authoritarian tendency; the tzars were succeeded by a man sometimes described as the ‘Red Tzar’, Joseph Stalin. Following the implosion of the Soviet Union, many hoped democracy would take the place of communism but Vladimir Putin’s regime showed strong authoritarian tendencies. Similar problems with former communist regimes can be discerned in eastern Europe and central Asia. Finally, the United States and Britain hoped democracy would take root in Iraq after their joint invasion in 2003 but the

in British politics today
In pursuit of the good state

Africa was a key focus of Britain's foreign policy under Tony Blair. Military intervention in Sierra Leone, increases in aid and debt relief, and grand initiatives such as the Commission for Africa established the continent as a place in which Britain could ‘do good’. This book critically explores Britain's fascination with Africa. It argues that, under New Labour, Africa represented an area of policy which appeared to transcend politics. Gradually, it came to embody an ideal state activity around which politicians, officials and the wider public could coalesce, leaving behind more contentious domestic and international issues. Building on the story of Britain and Africa under Blair, the book draws wider conclusions about the role of ‘good’ and idealism in foreign policy. In particular, it discusses how international relations provide opportunities to create and pursue ideals, and why they are essential for the wellbeing of political communities. The book argues that state actors project the idea of ‘good’ onto idealised, distant objects, in order to restore a sense of the ‘good state’.

Paul Kelemen

3 British communists and Palestine Despite its relatively small membership in relation to the Labour Party, the Communist Party of Great Britain took a leading role in anti-colonial campaigns. While the Labour Party between the wars put forward policies to reform the Empire through economic development and administrative training in the colonies, the international communist movement advised communist parties to support nationalist struggles seeking to throw off imperial rule. There were subsequently fluctuations in the communist movement’s position on the role

in The British left and Zionism