The Europeanisation of UK centralgovernment: analytical challenges
This chapter is designed to provide an analytical basis for our study of how
British centralgovernment has come to terms with European integration.
It rests on two elements which are examined in the chapter: Europeanisation and new institutionalism. Our initial concern is to locate the study
in the context of the Europeanisation literature. In doing so, we place the
adaptation to the EU of the UK generally, and of Whitehall
Regions, centralgovernment power
Central policies and vertical authority
The engagement of regions with local higher education institutions implies that
those responsible for regional administration have the will and ability to choose
partnership. The reality of government power however is such that the degrees of
freedom to make and sustain collaborative arrangements are often severely limited:
circumscribed by attitudes and policies, political and bureaucratic practices that
prevent and frustrate. On the other hand centralgovernment can
It is some thirty-five years since the United Kingdom joined what is now called the European Union. What has been the impact of the EU on UK central government? Has it been transformed or merely adapted to new pressures and requirements? This book explores the ‘Europeanisation’ of the work of civil servants and ministers and how they engage with the EU. Drawing on fresh empirical evidence—including interviews with over 200 serving and retired officials and ministers—it offers a comprehensive analysis of the spreading impact of European integration across government. The study is placed in the context of political divisions over the European Union but the book outlines the often neglected way in which the EU has transformed the business of government. This account charts the process from the Macmillan government's 1961 application to join the European Communities through to the end of Tony Blair's premiership. The book examines the character and timing of responses across government, covering the core government departments and also those more recently affected, such as the Ministry of Defence. It argues that central government has organized itself efficiently to deal with the demands of EU membership despite the often controversial party-political divisions over Europe. However, in placing the book's findings in comparative context, the conclusion is that the effectiveness of UK governments in the EU has been less striking.
This book presents a history of local government in Britain from 1800 until the present day. It explains how local government in Britain has evolved from a structure that appeared to be relatively free from central government interference to, as John Prescott observes, ‘one of the most centralised systems of government in the Western world’. The book is an introduction to the development of local government in Britain but also balances values and political practice in relation to the evolving structures to provide a theory of the evolution of the system. It analyses local government prior to 1832 and its subsequent development into the uniform two-tier structures of the twentieth century. The book argues that the emergence of a ‘New Liberal’ national welfare state and, by the 1920s, the growth of the Labour Party, created pressures within central government to control local governments. This has led, post-1945, to the creation of larger, less-local units, and to further restraints on local autonomy, as electoral competition among National Parties to offer better public services and local economic growth ensures that national leaders cannot leave local authorities to administer to local needs as they see fit. The conclusion compares the development of British centralism with the pattern of central–local development, as well as the relative conservatism in re-structuring the systems in the United States and France.
For thirty years, the British economy has repeated the same old experiment of subjecting everything to competition and market because that is what works in the imagination of central government. This book demonstrates the repeated failure of the 30 year policy experiments by examining three sectors: broadband, food supply and retail banking. It argues against naïve metaphors of national disease, highlights the imaginary (or cosmology) that frames those metaphors, and draws out the implications of the experiment. Discussing the role of the experiments in post-1945 Britain, the book's overview on telecommunications, supermarkets and retail banking, reveals the limits of treatment by competition. Privatisation of fixed line telecoms in the UK delivered a system in which the private and public interests are only partially aligned in relation to provision of broadband. Individual supermarket chains may struggle but the four big UK supermarket chains are generally presented as exemplars because they have for a generation combined adequate profits with low price, choice and quality to deliver shareholder value. The many inquiries into retail banking after the financial crisis have concluded that the sector's problem was not enough competition. In a devolved experiment, socially-licensed policies and priorities vary from place to place and context to context. However, meaningful political engagement with the specifics in the economy will need to avoid losing sight of four principles: contestation, judgement, discussion, and tinkering. While others can be blamed for the failure of the experiments, the political responsibility for the ending and starting another is collectively peoples'.
The 1980s were the heyday of the Thatcher counter-revolution, with mass deindustrialisation destroying Britain's manufacturing base. It was a period of significant setbacks for left politics, most notably the crushing of the miners' strike, Tony Benn's defeat in the Labour deputy leadership contest, and the abolition of the left-controlled Greater London Council. The surcharging and disqualification of councillors who resisted central government rate-capping, Labour's loss of the 1983 and 1987 general elections and the notorious 1983 Bermondsey by-election were also a part of the events during this period. This book resists the view that Labour's political and economic thought was moribund during the 1980s. It shows that Labour embraced new views on the role of the state and state intervention in the economy. The idea of a national investment bank, continental social democracy, and the 'Brexit' referendum of 2016 are discussed. Nostalgia was built into the New Labour's psyche, making it seem adrift from a changing society. Neil Kinnock replaced Michael Foot as leader in 1983 after Labour's defeat in that year's general election, and formed a party that brought changes that coincided with those made by Mikhail Gorbachev. Two major struggles between the Militant-led, Labour-run Liverpool City Council and Margaret Thatcher's Conservative Government damaged the reputation of the Labour Party, harmed its fortunes in the 1987 general election. The Race Today Collective was the most influential group of black radicals in the UK, 'the centre, in England, of black liberation'.
It could be argued that the English always have discussed their national identity
at length, if not 'with arms', and rarely at the dinner table. This
book introduces the diversity of reflection on Englishness in a number of
stages. 'Versions' of England are particularly apparent when reading
contemporary travel writing on and about England. The relationship between the
claims of continuity and the claims of change can be captured by understanding
Englishness as conversation. The book brings together insights from English
history, politics, constitutional affairs, literature, psephology and social
psychology to provide a digest of current reflection and is divided into three
complementary parts. In the first part, the nuances and subtleties of
Englishness are explored. It also explores the conceptual structure and
sociological texture of what such a cosmopolitan England would look like. The
part discusses conversational etiquette of English national self-identification,
the fear of an 'English backlash', and the non-white ethnic minority
communities. The second part considers Englishness in politics and institutions.
After 1997, the Labour government believed that devolution to Scotland, Wales
and Northern Ireland dealt with England in the appropriately English way:
pragmatic adjustment without provocation. It includes discussions on
Conservatism and Englishness, Gordon Brown and the negation of England, and the
Britain central government. The third part reprises the themes discussed in the
previous parts with a historical and literary emphasis. It includes discussions
on the changing face of Englishness, and the English union in the writings of
Arthur Mee and G.K. Chesterton.
Many current assumptions about health provision in medieval English cities derive
not from the surviving archival or archaeological evidence but from the
pronouncements of Victorian sanitary reformers whose belief in scientific
progress made them dismissive of earlier attempts to ameliorate the quality of
urban life. Our own tendency to judge historical responses to disease by the
exacting standards of modern biomedicine reflects the same anachronistic
attitude, while a widespread conviction that England lagged centuries behind
Italy in matters of health and hygiene seems to reinforce presumptions of
‘backwardness’ and ‘ignorance’. By contrast, this paper argues that a systematic
exploration of primary source material reveals a very different approach to
collective health, marked by direct intervention on the part of the crown and
central government and the active involvement of urban communities, especially
after the Black Death of 1348-49. A plethora of regulations for the elimination
of recognized hazards was then accompanied by major schemes for environmental
improvement, such as the introduction of piped water systems and arrangements
for refuse collection.
Frédéric Le Marcis, Luisa Enria, Sharon Abramowitz, Almudena-Mari Saez, and Sylvain Landry B. Faye
perceived chiefs and customary law as closer to communities than
centralgovernment, but they called for reform ( Fanthorpe, 2006 ). On the eve of the Ebola outbreak, therefore, chiefs
maintained their power but it was not unchallenged.
Historical divisions between Americo- and African-Liberians have marked the fight for
power and socio-political identities in Liberia ( Ellis, 1999 ). During the political instability of the 1980s and the
fourteen years of civil war (1989–2003), these
presence of the US army protected it from bombings
by the regime. Furthermore, the Kurdish militia’s tight control over the
population meant MSF’s international personnel were at no risk of being
kidnapped. As a result, it was one of the rare areas in Syria to which it was
possible to send international staff. Access was not controlled by centralgovernment but negotiated locally with the Kurdish Democratic Party (KDP) of Massoud
Barzani on the Iraqi side and with the PYD