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British Politics: A Very Short Introduction (Anglais) Broché – 31 juillet 2003

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Broché, 31 juillet 2003
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Revue de presse

Review from previous edition a useful book (The Guardian (Review)) --Ce texte fait référence à l'édition Broché .

Présentation de l'éditeur

Tony Wright's Very Short Introduction to British Politics is an interpretative essay on the British political system, rather than merely 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 the book how these characteristics are reflected in the way the political system actually 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. This in turn provides a perspective for a discussion of how the system is changing, looking in particular at devolution and Britain's place in Europe.

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Commentaires client les plus utiles sur (beta) HASH(0x9c2ac69c) étoiles sur 5 4 commentaires
5 internautes sur 5 ont trouvé ce commentaire utile 
HASH(0x9c38d354) étoiles sur 5 an excellent introduction, despite overlooking the power of media 28 décembre 2005
Par Jeffrey Lehman - Publié sur
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 
HASH(0x9c89f72c) étoiles sur 5 The good and the not so good 5 septembre 2013
Par Sussman - Publié sur
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.
1 internautes sur 1 ont trouvé ce commentaire utile 
HASH(0x9c39293c) étoiles sur 5 Impassioned 28 mars 2016
Par HH - Publié sur
Format: Broché
Towards the end of this lucid little book, Tony Wright with an almost audible sigh says, "A weak parliament has been the other face of strong government" (p. 88). This statement is one of a string of home truths uttered in the course of a 120 page analysis that is thoughtful, clear and relevant. Wright speaks with the precision of an academic but also the passion of a former practitioner. He loves Parliament, understands and values the complexities of the British parliamentary tradition, but cries from the heart for a more ‘constitutionalized’ political system. Calling Wright's book a VSI to British politics is a complete misnomer, as he delivers an emphatic judgment on the British constitution. It is a judgment that is free of jargon or circumlocution and instead hits home directly in phrase after pungent phrase.
HASH(0x9d5f896c) étoiles sur 5 good 25 février 2014
Par Paul - Publié sur
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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