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The New British Constitution (Anglais) Broché – 3 juin 2009

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Descriptions du produit

Revue de presse

Vernon Bogdanor offers a fresh insight into the substantial, and still largely underappreciated, changes to the British constitution. He combines the approaches of the political historian, the constitutional lawyer and the political scientist to put the changes into a wider context. It is a must read for anyone interested in British politics. --Peter Riddell, The Times

This masterly survey charts the rise of the 'New' constitution and expertly explains both how it works and why it matters. Bogdanor is Dicey and Bagehot rolled into one for the twenty-first century. --Guy Lodge, Institute for Public Policy Research

Présentation de l'éditeur

The last decade has seen radical changes in the way we are governed. Reforms such as the Human Rights Act and devolution have led to the replacement of one constitutional order by another. This book is the first to describe and analyse Britain's new constitution, asking why it was that the old system, seemingly hallowed by time, came under challenge, and why it is being replaced. The Human Rights Act and the devolution legislation have the character of fundamental law. They in practice limit the rights of Westminster as a sovereign parliament, and establish a constitution which is quasi-federal in nature. The old constitution emphasised the sovereignty of Parliament. The new constitution, by contrast, emphasises the separation of powers, both territorially and at the centre of government. The aim of constitutional reformers has been to improve the quality of government. But the main weakness of the new constitution is that it does little to secure more popular involvement in politics. We are in the process of becoming a constitutional state, but not a popular constitutional state. The next phase of constitutional reform, therefore, is likely to involve the creation of new forms of democratic engagement, so that our constitutional forms come to be more congruent with the social and political forces of the age. The end-point of this piecemeal process might well be a fully codified or written constitution which declares that power stems not from the Queen-in Parliament, but, instead, as in so many constitutions, from `We, the People'. The old British constitution was analysed by Bagehot and Dicey. In this book Vernon Bogdanor charts the significance of what is coming to replace it. The expenses scandal shows up grave defects in the British constitution. Vernon Bogdanor shows how the constitution can be reformed and the political system opened up in`The New British Constitution'.

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Commentaires client les plus utiles sur (beta) HASH(0x95813c84) étoiles sur 5 3 commentaires
4 internautes sur 5 ont trouvé ce commentaire utile 
HASH(0x97141d78) étoiles sur 5 Defying old premises 7 octobre 2009
Par Sarubbi Guillermo - Publié sur
Format: Broché Achat vérifié
By describing the recent and far-reaching changes to the British constitution and delineating its key new features, this book offers an insightful look into the current state of the British system of government. This perceptive survey of Britain's constitutional landscape, written in straightforward prose, will prove of great value to the expert while also being approachable by the general public.
3 internautes sur 5 ont trouvé ce commentaire utile 
HASH(0x95604fa8) étoiles sur 5 The grass isn't always greener on the other side 6 août 2009
Par Todd Bartholomew - Publié sur
Format: Broché
Americans may be astonished to learn that Britain's Constitution, unlike our own, was not written all at once, but has evolved gradually over time through accumulated legislation and is a largely unwritten assemblage. There was no Constitutional Convention to discuss, debate, and draft the guiding principles of the nation; there was no sudden rupture or rift that necessitated a clean break with the past as with American Independence. As Britain faces myriad constitutional crises and controversies in recent times there is suddenly a wave of potential constitutional changes being discussed and proposed in Parliament and in public. Among the ideas is to create a written constitution.

For Americans this is puzzling and confusing as English Common Law helps to shape and form so much of our society. While the Westminster system of unifying the legislative and executive branches is a bit alien to Americans the idea of scrapping what has worked for England for centuries seems an odd idea indeed. Why fix what isn't broke? But the reality, as pointed out by Bogdanor, is that Britain is trying to move with the times. Joining the European Economic Community in 1973 set Britain on the path towards modernizing its constitution as more power flowed towards Brussels. But Bogdanor argues that the piecemeal changes occurring since that time have failed to revive and rejuvenate British politics, but have instead redistributed power rather than democratizing the political process. Bogdanor argues for divesting power to the people and is clearly a fan of proportional representation, arguing for primaries to select parliamentary candidates as opposed to the old first-past-the-post rule, increasing use of referendums and the use of citizens' assemblies. While that sounds good on paper one need only look at the mess California has gotten into thanks to the referendum process. And while the primary process would make elections somewhat more democratic it would be the death of typically quick British elections as witnessed by the marathon contests here in America.

While the timing of "The New British Constitution" couldn't have been better, and it is quite well written, it remains a polemic with a clear agenda. Bogdanor is clearly looking to establish a dialog and makes persuasive arguments, but the reality is there are equally persuasive counterarguments which aren't made here. As Americans regularly groan about the inefficiency of our country's political system it boggles the mind why Britain would want to adopt some of the same processes. The Westminster system cannot be that badly broken to warrant such an injudicious fix.
1 internautes sur 9 ont trouvé ce commentaire utile 
HASH(0x95a0c018) étoiles sur 5 Misses the point 12 mars 2010
Par William Podmore - Publié sur
Format: Broché
Hasn't the learned professor noticed that our new constitution is the EU Constitution?

This EU Constitution installs a new, more powerful, semi-permanent President and a Foreign Minister, posts that no other international organisation has.
The Constitution guarantees the free movement of persons, capital, goods and services, plus the `freedom of establishment'. This new freedom appears to mean giving the Establishment whatever it wants. Under this `freedom', the European Court of Justice has ruled that Finnish ferry operator Viking Line can ignore its collective agreements with Finnish unions, re-flag its vessels to Estonia and hire local crews on lower pay. The RMT warns that employers will use the ruling to cut wages across the EU because every industrial action `restricts the right of freedom of establishment'.

The EU Constitution spells out the EU's new goals of lowering customs and other barriers and of ending all controls over foreign direct investment. This would leave us defenceless against foreign takeovers and Chinese and Middle Eastern sovereign wealth funds.

Crucially, the EU Constitution says that EU law will overrule national law. It extends EU rule to justice and home affairs. It gives the EU the right to decide the common commercial policy, and policies over customs, fisheries, money (for eurozone members) and competition. The authors admit, "No other international organisation has such a structure." The EU may not be a `superstate', but its Constitution is a huge step towards a new state.

Before the 2005 election, the three parliamentary parties all pledged to hold a referendum on the Constitution, so whoever won we should have had the referendum. We must have this promised referendum; otherwise, where is the democracy?
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