The Evolution of the UK Political System in the First Decade of the New Millennium: Comparative and temporal perspectives
Title: The Evolution of the UK Political System in the First Decade of the New Millennium: Comparative and temporal perspectives
Author: TATHAM, Michael Robert
Citation: Karine TOURNIER-SOL (ed.), Le Royaume-Uni dans le monde depuis 2001, Revue Babel, 2010, 21, 217-253
This chapter seeks to evaluate the extent to which the UK political system has evolved since the double turning point of 1997 and 2001. Labour, under Blair and Brown, has ruled Britain for longer than any non-Conservative government in the past 100 years. An obvious research question is then to ask what the legacy of New Labour to the British political system is – beyond its domestic policy legacies or its Foreign Policy record. This analysis takes both stock of, and issue with, the literature addressing the question of the evolution of the UK political system. It takes stock by building on the theoretical foundations and findings of previous work. It takes issue by highlighting areas of further change or of disagreement. The first part of the article spells out a general but parsimonious definition of a political system and applies it to the UK. The second part identifies areas of continuity throughout the period under study, while the third part details seven areas of moderate to strong change. The article concludes with the necessary re-definition – and to some extent, indeed, re-invention – of the Westminster Model.
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