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A leap of faith
Author: Ali Riaz

The tendency among ethnic minority Muslim immigrant communities in Europe towards identification with Islam as a marker of identity is discussed in an array of studies, but seldom have they explained sufficiently how the change took place. Islam and Identity Politics among British-Bangladeshis: A Leap of Faith probes the causes of and conditions for the preference of the members of the British-Bangladeshi community for a religion-based identity vis-à-vis ethnicity-based identity, and the influence of Islamists in shaping the discourse. It also examines whether this salience of Muslim identity is a precursor to a new variant of diasporic Islam. Islam and Identity Politics delves into the micro-level dynamics, the internal and external factors and the role of the state and locates these within the broad framework of Muslim identity and Islamism, citizenship and the future of multiculturalism in Europe.

Author: Neil McNaughton

This book seeks to review the state of political issues early in the twenty-first century, when New Labour is in its second term of office. As part of the updating process it became necessary to choose which political issues are important. The book includes the main issues which appear in current Advanced Level Politics syllabuses. In the case of Edexcel, which offers a specific political issues option in its A2 specification, all the specified issues have been included. The book deals with the process of constitutional and political change which are issues in themselves. It also includes material on constitutional reform (incorporating the recent development of human rights in Britain), and devolution. The book includes the global recession and other recent political developments and looks at the important issues in British politics since 1945. It examines the key issues of British politics today: economic policy, the Welfare State, law and order, environment policy, Northern Ireland, issues concerning women, European integration and the European Union, and the impact of the European Union on Britain. The book also deals with the European Union and Britain's relationship to it. Finally, it must be emphasised that Britain's relationship to the European Union is in itself a political issue which has fundamentally changed the party system.

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.

Bill Jones

with political culture. For example, Russian history shows a marked authoritarian tendency; the tzars were succeeded by a man sometimes described as the ‘Red Tzar’, Joseph Stalin. Following the implosion of the Soviet Union, many hoped democracy would take the place of communism but Vladimir Putin’s regime showed strong authoritarian tendencies. Similar problems with former communist regimes can be discerned in eastern Europe and central Asia. Finally, the United States and Britain hoped democracy would take root in Iraq after their joint invasion in 2003 but the

in British politics today
Bill Jones

sketch the major changes membership has had for Britain and for its politics. Background and context: historical, geographical and cultural factors Island geography The English Channel has been crucial in determining aspects of Britain’s cultural outlook: separation from Europe; an outward-looking attitude to sea and Empire; a focus on the navy and not the army; a romantic attitude, maybe, towards islands in our culture – Treasure Island, Robinson Crusoe and the like; and a sense of being different, and maybe superior to ‘foreigners’. Empire Britain had

in British politics today
Bill Jones

departments, called ‘agencies’, to undertake the routine work while ministers concentrated on the bigger issues. Is local government important? Most definitely, but the gradual stripping of power from local authorities since the middle of the last century and the strangling of their financial freedom of action has made local government less attractive to able people and less interesting to voters, who rarely turn out in force for local elections. How important is Europe to British politics? Crucial. The European Union touches British politics in all kinds of ways

in British politics today
A higher loyalty

This book argues that the current problems over Britain’s membership of the European Union are largely as a result of the absence of quality debates during the 1959–84 period. The situation today is also attributed to members of the political elite subordinating the question of Britain’s future in Europe to short-term, pragmatic, party management or career considerations. A particular and original interpretation of Britain and Europe is advanced, aided by recently discovered evidence. This includes the methods used by the Conservative government to ensure it won the vote following the 1971 parliamentary debate on Britain’s proposed entry into the EEC. It also delves into the motives of the sixty-nine rebel Labour MPs that voted against their own party on EEC membership, and how the British public were largely misled by political leaders in respect of the true aims of the European project. This is a study of a seminal period in Britain’s relationship with Europe. Starting from the British government’s early attempts at EEC membership, and concluding with the year both major political parties accepted Britain’s place in Europe, this book examines decision-making in Britain. As such, it contributes to a greater understanding of British politics. It answers a number of key questions and casts light on the current toxic dilemma on the issue of Europe.

Bill Jones

British and US government is often compared and such exercises can be illuminating, so much so that some examination boards focus specifically on this comparative aspect. This chapter offers a brief survey of the similarities and differences to point up how different systems can be while appearing so similar on the surface. We begin, after check-listing overall similarities, by looking at the political and economic base upon which politics in both countries is founded. Governments and their political cultures are rooted in their own particular societies, so it

in British politics today
The ‘mainstream’ media
Bill Jones

importance has varied over time. The most important currently (the ‘mainstream’ media) are the newspapers, radio and television, and these are what most people would understand by the term. However, there are other media. Authors like Charles Dickens in the nineteenth century helped awaken the British middle classes to the evils of poverty and John Steinbeck’s book The Grapes of Wrath drew dramatic attention to the privations of poor families migrating to the American west during the 1930s Depression. In addition, theatre can carry a powerful political message

in British politics today
Influence, bias and the new media
Bill Jones

The media have become more complex, with new actors (e.g. spin doctors and marketing people) and a whole new dimension with the internet. This chapter analyses these developments, with brief discussion of bias, voting and language in politics. How important have advertising agencies become in British politics? Until the 1970s, neither of the two big parties bothered with advertising in the professional sense. Propagating political messages via the media was thought to be a job for the specialists: politicians. However, the Conservatives began to use

in British politics today