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Geoffrey K. Roberts

The political system of the Federal Republic is sometimes described as ‘chancellor democracy’, because of the dominant role occupied by the chancellor in that political system. 1 This chapter surveys the way in which the Basic Law provides the political instruments that permit the chancellor to play such a dominant role. It is important, though, to concede that the chancellor’s powers in actuality will also depend on the political circumstances of the time, the personality of the chancellor and the party system. The constraints on the chancellor’s political

in German politics today (third edition)
Bill Jones

interests of those involved. President Mugabe, of Zimbabwe, leader of a one-party dictatorship, for example tried in 2007 to stem runaway inflation by banning firms from making price increases, accusing them of collaborating with opposition elements to bring down his government. During 2008 he also used state-organised violence to determine the results of presidential and parliamentary elections. Democracies like Britain, however, use representative institutions to negotiate between competing interests through the medium of political parties contesting elections. The

in British politics today
Matt Qvortrup

what we call “democracy on demand”. Thus, it is in this context of the ubiquitous individualised shopping lists, that we should see the demand for more referendums and the like. For political parties – and the system of representative government – is in many ways characteristic of the old system of one-size-fits-all; the system under which we were content with package deals, under

in Democracy on demand
Abstract only
Holding power to account
Author: Matt Qvortrup

Voters can be sophisticated. In 2018, a majority of the voters in Florida voted for a conservative governor, but they also voted to give prisoners the right to vote, something the Republican Governor had opposed. The voters showed that they were able to distinguish measures from men. Politics is not just about tribal partisanship. Voters demand more choice. And they are able to exercise their judgement. Florida is not unique. This is a global trend. A large majority of voters all over the world – according to opinion polls – want more referendums. But are they capable of making decisions on complex issues? And aren’t such votes an invitation to ill-considered populism? This book answers these questions and shows what the effect of referendums have on public policy, on welfare and well-being, and outlines how some of the criticisms of referendums and initiatives can be remedied.

Matt Qvortrup

question will be framed more narrowly, can referendums be compatible with the ideals of deliberative democracy? And, more particularly, if mechanisms can be put in place to facilitate this ideal 2 . In this section, the practice of referendums will be contrasted with other mechanisms such as mini-publics or citizens’ juries (also known as citizens’ assemblies) to see if these can

in Democracy on demand
Marcel Stoetzle

Beaumont co-authored an influential report on the American prison system and penal reform, published in 1833, and another book on America each: Beaumont wrote a social-critical novel dealing with slavery in the USA, published in 1835, and Tocqueville wrote the two volumes of Democracy in America of 1835 and 1840. Both Tocqueville and Beaumont advocated prison reform and the abolition of slavery. They are also notable for having written some of the classic liberal critiques of colonialism, including a book by Beaumont of 1839 on Ireland. Beaumont there combined

in Beginning classical social theory
Tom Gallagher

national elites to spread their authority over the masses from around 1800 onwards. Supra-nationalism, Jean Monnet’s term for the new European concert, lacks any specific meaning other than experimenting with forms of governance that keep democracy at arm’s length. It is only at rare moments that the undemocratic character of the EU is singled out as a virtue rather than an uncomfortable reality. One such moment occurred in 2010 when the President of the European Commission, José Manuel Barroso, openly described the EU as an antidote to democratic government. In

in Europe’s path to crisis
The essentials
Series: Politics Today
Author: Bill Jones

'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.

Matt Qvortrup

So, two Cheers for Democracy: one because it admits variety and; two because it permits criticism. E.M. Forster 1 Referendums have always attracted negative comments: “The Referendum is tried and found to be a failure”, wrote

in Democracy on demand
Wider still and wider
Author: Ben Wellings

English nationalism, Brexit and the Anglosphere is the first sustained research that examines the inter-relationships between English nationalism, Brexit and the Anglosphere. Much initial analysis of Brexit concentrated on the revolt of those ‘left behind’ by globalisation. English nationalism, Brexit and the Anglosphere analyses the elite project behind Brexit. This project was framed within the political traditions of an expansive English nationalism. Far from being parochial ‘Little Englanders’, elite Brexiteers sought to lessen the rupture of leaving the European Union by suggesting a return to trade and security alliances with ‘true friends’ and ‘traditional allies’ in the Anglosphere. Brexit was thus reassuringly presented as a giant leap into the known. Legitimising this far-reaching change in British and European politics required the re-articulation of a globally oriented Englishness. This politicised Englishness was underpinned by arguments about the United Kingdom’s imperial past and its global future advanced as a critique of its European present. When framing the UK’s EU membership as a European interregnum followed by a global restoration, Brexiteers both invoked and occluded England by asserting the wider categories of belonging that inform contemporary English nationalism.