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British Politics: A Very Short Introduction [Anglais] [Broché]

Tony Wright

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Descriptions du produit

Revue de presse

Review from previous edition a useful book (The Guardian (Review))

Présentation de l'éditeur

Tony Wright's Very Short Introduction to British Politics is an interpretative essay on the British political system, rather than an abbreviated textbook on how it currently works. He identifies key characteristics and ideas of the British tradition, and investigates what makes British politics distinctive, while emphasizing throughout how these characteristics are reflected in the way the political system functions. Each chapter is organized around a key theme, such as the constitution or political accountability, which is first established and then explored with examples and illustrations. In this new edition Wright considers how the system has recently changed and continues to do so, in light of the coalition government and the fall of New Labour, as well as the impact of the financial crisis and issues such as terrorism and immigration. ABOUT THE SERIES: The Very Short Introductions series from Oxford University Press contains hundreds of titles in almost every subject area. These pocket-sized books are the perfect way to get ahead in a new subject quickly. Our expert authors combine facts, analysis, perspective, new ideas, and enthusiasm to make interesting and challenging topics highly readable.

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Amazon.com: 4.0 étoiles sur 5  3 commentaires
4 internautes sur 4 ont trouvé ce commentaire utile 
4.0 étoiles sur 5 an excellent introduction, despite overlooking the power of media 28 décembre 2005
Par Jeffrey Lehman - Publié sur Amazon.com
Format:Broché
Tony Wright is a Member of Parliament (MP) for the Labour party, and this puts him in a good position to introduce British politics to the uninitiated. He writes from experience as well as from academic knowledge, and gives many interesting anecdotes from his own experience.

His position as an MP, however, also means that he has a few axes to grind, and keeps coming back to a small set of themes:
-Strong government is good, but needs better accountability (from Parliament, specifically).
-Parliament is a weak institution.
-The "first-past-the-post" election system does not reflect the true opinion of the electorate.
-The business of government has become the business of being re-elected.
As you read, you may get sick of seeing these same themes repeated again and again. However, they are important issues for discussion.

While giving excellent coverage of power from a political perspective, he virtually ignores the power of the media over politics, except to comment "Instead of the media feeding off Parliament, as was once the case, it is now more common for Parliament to feed off the media." This could use elaboration in order to properly explain the state of modern British politics.

I was recently listening to a discussion on BBC radio 4 about the centers of political power, commentators discussed the increasing concentration of power in the executive (as Wright does). Then one commentator said that the real power is now in the media, and the rest of them agreed unanimously. They had all been thinking in terms of official political positions, but the reality is that power does not always, or even primarily, lie in official places. However, Wright only deals with the politicians' part of this, which is to spin everything.

Writing about spin and soundbites, Wright states, "Presentation is all. Spin blots out substance. Soundbites substitute for arguments. Repitition replaces originality." Said the kettle to the pot... I guess he misses the irony of writing about soundbites using a series of short, repetitive, sentences. In any case, he scarcely mentions why it is that politicians have gone in for spin: the media.

One more cavil is that there are a couple of typographic errors, which is really unacceptable from such a respected press as the OUP.

Other than missing out on the power of the media, this is a good summary of the political situation in Britian today, and of how it got there. If you need a readable overview of the British political system and it's workings, this little book will serve your purposes well.
2 internautes sur 2 ont trouvé ce commentaire utile 
3.0 étoiles sur 5 The good and the not so good 5 septembre 2013
Par Sussman - Publié sur Amazon.com
Format:Broché
As the title suggests these books are designed to be readable, a way to get ahead in a new topic rapidly. The narrative gives a good overview on most subjects that are covered. The book also does a decent job at trying to attract the reader into each topic field. This is the second edition of British Politics VSI and is quite up-to-date. The narrative talks about the current position of British Politics and the coalition government between the Conservatives and the Liberal Democrats(as of 2013).

However, there is a problem here, in a book that should remain neutral in its delivery, and as other reviewers, on the web, have commented the author's politics (he is a Labour member of Parliament) seem to influence his writing as it progresses. So here in is the `problem', so to speak and hence my rating.
5.0 étoiles sur 5 good 25 février 2014
Par Paul - Publié sur Amazon.com
Format:Broché|Achat vérifié
I bought this book becasue it was recommended by a political science graduate student as a good resource for understanding british politics and I had a paper to write in a political science course about british politics
turns out it is not as long as some other resources (as advertized, but not necessarily excedingly short)
and a very good resource full of insightful and pertinent observances and includes many siting to other excellent resources
so all in all I am glad I had this resource to site for the paper I wrote and also I learn much regarding British Politics
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