'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.
This chapter 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. The Gini coefficient is
produced by relating the wealth and income of the rich to those of the poor;
a high rating means high inequality, while a low one means less inequality.
According to this index, Sweden, Denmark and Holland are at the top while
Britain is low down the table, along with the United States. The chapter
briefly explains Charles Murray's terming of the poor as the underclass
who were not subscribing to the values of society and indulging in crime and
drugs. It also deals with regional differences in the British society owing
to geography, gender and ethnicity.
Karl Polanyi (1886–1964) returned to public discourse in the 1990s, when the Soviet Union imploded and globalization erupted. Best known for The Great Transformation, Polanyi’s wide-ranging thought anticipated twenty-first-century civilizational challenges of ecological collapse, social disintegration and international conflict, and warned that the unbridled domination of market capitalism would engender nationalist protective counter-movements. In Karl Polanyi and Twenty-First-Century Capitalism, Radhika Desai and Kari Polanyi Levitt bring together prominent and new thinkers in the field to extend the boundaries of our understanding of Polanyi's life and work. Kari Polanyi Levitt's opening essay situates Polanyi in the past century shaped by Keynes and Hayek, and explores how and why his ideas may shape the twenty-first century. Her analysis of his Bennington Lectures, which pre-dated and anticipated The Great Transformation, demonstrates how Central European his thought and chief concerns were. The next several contributions clarify, for the first time in Polanyi scholarship, the meaning of money as a fictitious commodity. Other contributions resolve difficulties in understanding the building blocks of Polanyi's thought: fictitious commodities, the double movement, the United States' exceptional development, the reality of society and socialism as freedom in a complex society. The volume culminates in explorations of how Polanyi has influenced, and can be used to develop, ideas in a number of fields, whether income inequality, world-systems theory or comparative political economy. Contributors: Fred Block, Michael Brie, Radhika Desai, Michael Hudson, Hannes Lacher, Kari Polanyi Levitt, Chikako Nakayama, Jamie Peck, Abraham Rotstein, Margaret Somers, Claus Thomasberger, Oscar Ugarteche Galarza.
conditions of service’, The Times (12 January
2 Dale Report, appendix E, table A.
3 M. Gorsky, J. Mohan and M. Powell, ‘The financial health of voluntary hospitals in interwar Britain’, EconomicHistory Review, 55:3 (2002), 533–57.
4 King Edward’s Hospital Fund for London, Memorandum on the Supervision
of Nurses’ Health, p. 1
6 CRO, HC1/1/1/18, CLAVC minutes, 25 November 1918, p. 312.
7 Sandhurst Report, p. 318; RLH, LH/A/17/49, Report of the House Committee
on the Allegations which Have Been Recently Made against the Nursing
Britain’, EconomicHistory Review , 55:3 (2002),
Consultative Council on Medical and Allied Services,
‘Interim Report on the Future Provision of Medical and Allied
Services’ (London: Ministry of Health, 1920), p. 5.
The impact of the First World War on the 1918–19 influenza pandemic in Ulster
Belfast News-Letter (11 June 1918),
p. 3; Northern Whig (21 June 1918), p. 2; County Down
Spectator (29 June 1918), p. 3.
J. Winter, ‘The impact of the First
World War on civilian health in Britain’, EconomicHistory Review , 30:3 (August 1977
had fully utilised established procedures for resolving
workplace conflicts and grievances. Thus emerged political concern about
the incidence and impact of unofficial and unconstitutional strikes during
the 1960s, which resulted in the 1965–68 Royal Commission on Trade
Unions and Employers’ Associations, and the subsequent proposals of
industrial relations legislation enshrined the 1969 White Paper In Place
1 Both relative to early periods of Britisheconomichistory, and in comparison
to the recent/current economic performance of other advanced
economic history in the early twentieth century, see P.R. Schofield, ‘Britisheconomichistory, c.1880–c.1930’, in P. Lambert and P.R. Schofield, eds, Making history: an introduction to the history and practices of a discipline (London: Routledge, 2004), pp. 65–77.
9 R.H. Tawney, The agrarian problem in the sixteenth century (Oxford: Longmans, 1912).
10 H.L. Gray, ‘The commutation of villein services in England before the Black Death’, English Historical Review 116 (1914); T.W. Page, The end of villeinage in
the Formation of a Great Industrial City 1801–1921 (Dublin: Nonsuch, 2009), chaps 3, 5. For the wider background see F. M. L. Thompson, ‘Social control in Victorian Britain’, EconomicHistory Review , 34:2 (1981), 189–208.
29 For a fuller discussion see S. J. Connolly, ‘Religion and society’, in Liam Kennedy and Philip Ollerenshaw (eds), Ulster since 1600: Politics, Economy and Society (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2013), pp. 74–89.
30 Neal Garnham, Association Football and Society in Pre-Partition Ireland
being substantively to position
economies in this variegated context. While Dale (2011) has traced the origins of
the embeddedness concept to extended engagements with Thurnwald, Tönnies and
Marx, Block (2001: xxiv) has ventured that ‘it seems plausible that Polanyi drew
the metaphor from coal mining’, following his extensive work on Britisheconomichistory during the 1930s. In this vein, Ilona Duczynska Polanyi would recall that
‘stronger than any intellectual influence was the trauma which was England’, and
what would prove to be her husband’s auspicious