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Portraiture, caricature and visual culture in Britain, c. 1830–80

This book examines the role of political likenesses in a half-century that was crucial for the political modernisation of Britain, a two-party system that began to take shape and politicians became increasingly accountable and responsive to public opinion. Political language, especially electoral rhetoric, has been accorded considerable weight by recent studies in building broad coalitions of political support in popular and electoral politics. The book studies political likenesses, the key mode of visual politics at this time, as part of a nuanced analysis of contemporary political culture and the nature of the representative system. It examines a diverse range of material including woven silk portraiture, oil paintings, numismatics and medals, banners, ceramics, statuary and memorials as well as items printed on paper or card. After an analysis of the visual culture spawned by the reform bills of 1831-1832, the book shows how Conservative and Liberal/Reformer identities were visualised through semi-official series of portrait prints. The pictorial press, photographs and portrait testimonials, statues and memorials, MPs were venerated as independent representatives and champions of particular localities, trades, interests or issues, and not party hacks. Depictions of Lord Palmerston and his rivals, including Lord John Russell and Lord Derby, in the 1850s and 1860s often underplayed in pictorial representations to emphasise physical and political vigour. The role of political portraits and cartoons in the decade after the passing of the 1867 Representation of the People Act is also discussed.

Power, accountability and democracy

Does European integration contribute to, or even accelerate, the erosion of intra-party democracy? This book is about improving our understanding of political parties as democratic organisations in the context of multi-level governance. It analyses the impact of European Union (EU) membership on power dynamics, focusing on the British Labour Party, the French Socialist Party (PS), and the German Social Democratic Party (SPD). The purpose of this book is to investigate who within the three parties determines EU policies and selects EU specialists, such as the candidates for European parliamentary elections and EU spokespersons.

The book utilises a principal-agent framework to investigate the delegation of power inside the three parties across multiple levels and faces. It draws on over 65 original interviews with EU experts from the three national parties and the Party of European Socialists (PES) and an e-mail questionnaire. This book reveals that European policy has largely remained in the hands of the party leadership. Its findings suggest that the party grassroots are interested in EU affairs, but that interest rarely translates into influence, as information asymmetry between the grassroots and the party leadership makes it very difficult for local activists to scrutinise elected politicians and to come up with their own policy proposals. As regards the selection of EU specialists, such as candidates for the European parliamentary elections, this book highlights that the parties’ processes are highly political, often informal, and in some cases, undemocratic.

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Constituting authority

deliberative democracy under real-world constraints of time and numbers: even in a polity as tiny as 10,000 citizens, allowing each of them ten minutes to discuss one particular issue would take up 208 eight-hour days, the better part of a year.9 While citizens have obligations to participate politically to ensure PGC compliance,10 most of the time these duties may be adequately met through their control of a satisfactory representative system.11 The reasons why representation is not in principle inimical to agency stem from what is required for control, under assumptions of

in Supranational Citizenship
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The age of supply­side politics?

, citizens’ initiatives and the recall. What can we conclude? Are these mechanisms as efficient as they are said to be? Or are they as dangerous as others would have us believe? Critics have argued that direct democracy is both time-­consuming and costly, and that it would lead to democratic fatigue. In extreme cases they are right. People do not want politics all the time. Yet in manageable doses, direct democracy – as employed in New Zealand, and at the local level in Germany, and the Netherlands – works, and provides an effective complement to the representative system

in Direct democracy
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image to be projected of politicians, which was appropriate for an age in which the excrescences of the representative system were reformed and Parliament became more responsive to public opinion. In this period great store was set on the ‘character’ of public men, their moral qualities.5 Portraits seemed to offer unique insights into the character of politicians, which could be accessed through the intuitive folk wisdom of physi- Miller_PoliticsPersonified_Printer.indd 228 23/09/2014 11:54 Conclusion 229 ognomy. Victorian portraiture focused on subjects as

in Politics personified
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they were perceived, individually and collectively, and illuminate the nature of the relationship between parliamentarians and constituents that was recast after 1832. This book studies political likenesses, the key mode of visual politics at this time, as part of a nuanced analysis of contemporary political culture and the nature of the representative system. However, it also places these images in context, not studying them as decontextualised visual texts, but as visual media that were produced, distributed, consumed and used as material objects. To this end, a

in Politics personified

patronage, place and sinecures funded by the long-suffering and heavily burdened taxpayer, by transforming the representative system that had underpinned it. This was to be achieved through electoral redistribution, especially the disenfranchisement of the rotten boroughs controlled by the hated borough-mongers. Studying the visual culture of reform offers fresh insights into popular understandings of reform, and explains the apparent anomaly of huge popular support for a measure that was, in many respects, moderate, conservative and limited. Furthermore, this popular

in Politics personified

’ decision-​making processes. Instead, he observed, parties with an increasing membership (such as the SPD at the time) needed a delegative and representative system of decision-​making. This ‘oligarchic’ party structure, Michels argued, is less democratic and therefore less desirable than direct member participation. Michels also argued that if real democracy is unachievable in mass membership organisations such as political parties, democracy as a system of government would be unachievable. At the beginning of the twentieth century, the SPD was a large party that was set

in Centre-left parties and the European Union

;15 parallel conventions and parallel referendums on competing constitutional options;16 and a scheme for ‘proportionately proportionate voting’ in the EP logged to extent of member state competence subscription and size of population, in combination with states organised into a set of colegii per relative population and allocated voting weights proportionate to the square root of that relevant population within limits set by lower and upper thresholds.17 These are prerequisites of, or adjuncts to, citizen activity within a representative system, rather than partial

in Supranational Citizenship

. Representations of the East by the West and vice versa have evolved over time and share similar characteristics such as dehumanisation, the privileging of Self over Other and the sense of superiority that the perception generates. Additionally, literature within postcolonial discourse indicates that Western frameworks influence representative systems and hegemonic discourses of the Other within foreign policy. Western superiority and non-Western inferiority is thus legitimised through these frameworks, which also deny the validity of non-Western thought

in Representation, recognition and respect in world politics