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Parliamentary, presidential or prime ministerial?
David Arter

11 Nordic government(s): parliamentary, presidential or prime ministerial? It is evident that Finland has been moving closer to the parliamentary states of Western Europe and that there are hardly any grounds for the epithet ‘semipresidential. (Nousiainen 2001: 108) This chapter focuses on the executive–parties dimension (Lijphart 1999) and in particular on two striking differences in the nature of the political executive across the Nordic region. First, there is the contrast, in Lijphart’s terms, between the executive–legislative balance systems of the

in Scandinavian politics today
Banning the ‘five techniques’
Samantha Newbery

The use of the ‘five techniques’ in Northern Ireland in August and October 1971 was met with a variety of responses and reactions. These are the subject of this and the following chapter. The present chapter focuses on the government’s responses to the use of the techniques and, more specifically, its responses to the criticisms the techniques were met with. Its starting

in Interrogation, intelligence and security
Abstract only
Gervase Rosser

time be compelled to yield it back to the giver. The county towns, as an elite class of regional centres which was largely defined by about 1100, would always be seen from the point of view of royal government as means for the expression and assertion of central authority. 1 Meanwhile, a second and no less significant basis of urban rule lay in customary practices of self-regulation in the neighbourhoods which made up the town

in Towns in medieval England
Stephen Constantine

10 Big government and self-government, 1940–69 Because it has become a truism it is not necessarily untrue. The evacuation from May 1940 of much of the civilian population from Gibraltar, and especially some of their uncomfortable experiences in Britain and Northern Ireland, did embitter the exiles and those still resident in Gibraltar and did provoke demands for political change.1 The apparently tardy steps being taken by the British authorities to organise repatriation seemed to expose the limited political influence that Gibraltar civilians had over their own

in Community and identity
Local government in Britain since 1800
Author: J. A. Chandler

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.

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Provenance and decline
Bill Jones

The importance of local government seems obvious, in that what matters most to people are the things which affect them and their families on a daily basis: their environment, street hygiene, safety and so forth. Yet in the twenty-first century, local government in Britain can sometimes seem less than relevant, with few people aware of its existence and caring even less. Given such indifference, it is hard for this lowest tier of democratic government to assert itself. However, it still disposes of billions of pounds every year, employs over 2 million people and

in British politics today
Abstract only
Revival?
Bill Jones

The previous chapter examined the emergence of local government, together with its reform and workings. While the dominant theme was one of decline, this chapter considers whether more recent developments have suggested it might be possible to discern some kind of revival. Writing in the Guardian on 3 September 1997, Tony Blair declared: ‘Local government is the lifeblood of our democracy’. While more cynical observers might dismiss this as anodyne political rhetoric, there have been a number of signs, both from the earlier 1990s and since the Labour

in British politics today
Liam Weeks

7 Independents and government Introduction In almost all democracies, parliamentary government is party government. This is also the case in Ireland, but it comes with a slight twist in that historically many of these party governments have relied on parliamentarians outside of parties – that is, independent TDs – who frequently hold the balance of power in the Dáil. This gives independents what Sartori (2005) defines as ‘relevance’, whether of the coalition (that is, they are needed to form a government) or blackmail (they can prevent government formation

in Independents in Irish party democracy
Reflecting a nation’s past or merely an administrative convenience?
Colin Copus

Introduction In Britain central government decides the shape, population, responsibilities, powers and functions of councils in England. It is central government which can, and does, abolish councils, or entire layers of local government which lacks even the most basic constitutional protection, including the right to continued existence. While

in These Englands
J. A. Chandler

5 Restructuring local government Few across the British political spectrum were satisfied with the evolution of the local government system following the 1832 Reform Act. While municipal government could lead the way to reform, the system could not evolve in rural areas because of the lack of any workable consensus in Parliament that could establish multi-purpose local government structures. The legislative compromises and resultant ad hoc developments were creating as complex a pattern of local government in rural areas and small towns as existed in the

in Explaining local government