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Brexit, Austerity and Agency

A distinctive and original analysis of how the politics of the UK and the lives of British citizens have evolved in the first decades of the twenty-first century, this book provides an interdisciplinary critical examination of the roots, ideology and consequences of austerity politics, the Brexit vote and the rise of populist politics in Britain.

Bringing together case studies and perspectives from an array of international researchers across the social sciences, it dissects the ways that the UK has become increasingly contested with profound differences of geography, generation, gender, ‘race’ and class, and considers agency as a key concept to understand the links between austerity and Brexit.

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war that stopped a war’ ‘contributes to a (post)colonial and militaristic nostalgia in British political culture’. While the dangers of that for Northern Ireland are clear, perhaps the greatest risks lie in England, since some accounts of the conflict serve radically to distort the experience of British soldiers and retrospectively painted as being motivated solely by much more modern forms of patriotism. The irony of Irish narratives is that they support, in certain respects, forms of official British narration that present soldiers’ choices in ways that might

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Britain is a settled polity. It has been a full democracy for almost one hundred years, and it has representative institutions and a continuous political tradition stretching back to the seventeenth century. During that time its external fortunes have risen and fallen but it has not experienced either internal revolution or external invasion and occupation. Many have argued that it is this experience which has made Britain special, the essential context for understanding its politics, and its success in managing orderly and peaceful change. Britain is also a

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Aims and approach This book is intended as a work of practical constitutional scholarship applied to an urgent, pressing problem. It is not a book on constitutional history, constitutional law, constitutional theory or comparative politics – although it draws upon each of those disciplines. It is, rather, an attempt to identify the pressing affliction of the British body-politic and to recommend a remedy. The affliction is a deep constitutional crisis. The ‘unwritten constitution’, which grew up over the centuries from a hotchpotch of statutes, judicial

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A vast gulf in living standards prevailed through and beyond the Victorian era. ‘There is ignorance, and coarse brutality, and sullen hopelessness, and haggard wretchedness, far beyond what there ought to be in the midst of such beauties and blessings’, declared Elizur Wright, an American businessman and social reformer. Visiting Britain on a fact-finding journey a decade after the Poor Law Amendment Act, Wright was unimpressed by the rich classes. Meeting the elderly and influential romantic poet, William Wordsworth, who had drifted from the radicalism of his

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, no one was more surprised than the party’s leader Clement Attlee and his wife Vi. ‘Vi went round for months telling people the Attlees “expected Churchill to win.”’ 1 When the new prime minister went to the Palace, the self-effacing, pipe-smoking Attlee was driven by Vi – dressed in her Sunday best – in their modest family saloon, the same car used to cross the country during the election campaign. It was a striking symbol of the change about to sweep Britain. When he informed King George VI that Labour had won the election, the king is reported to have said, ‘I

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99 FIVE Britain after the referendum Introduction Brexit has triggered a series of processes in the UK, summarised in Table 5.1, that are not only about handling the UK’s exit from the EU. They are also about defining what sort of country the UK wants to be. The first and arguably most important process in the way the UK is handling Brexit surrounds defining the ‘Brexit narrative’. British politics since June 2016 has been largely about defining why the British people voted as they did and what they voted for when 51.9 per cent of them who voted backed

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47 CHAPTER THREE British public policymaking introduction The mechanisms of British policymaking can be considered within ideological, theoretical and realist frameworks. The theoretical approaches have been more overtly influenced by anglophone countries – the US, Canada, Australia and New Zealand – rather than elsewhere in Europe (Pollitt and Bouckaert, 2000). These approaches have been focused on the development and adoption of New Public Management ideologies (Hood, 1995, 1998; Newman, 2001), networked/relational schools (Bevir and Rhodes, 2003) and

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1 HOMELESSNESS POLICY IN BRITAIN Peter Somerville This paper reviews the history of home- lessness policy in Britain. with special emphasis on the Housing (Homeless Per- sons) Act 1977. The structural changes in society which made the 1977 Act possible are identified, and the immediate causa- tion of the Act itself is examined in detail. The consensus view that pressure groups played the main part in bringing about the legislative change is criticised, and instead it is argued that the Department of the Environment took the lead from start to finish. The paper

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The British Urban Programme Robert Holman Lynda Hamilton Department of Social Administration ·and Social Work, University of Glasgow Although it is now over four years since the British urban programme was initiated, availableinformation on its origins, the details of its implementation and the extent to which it has been successful continues to be severely limited. The literature on this topic is restricted to a few critical articles which, in the main, have focussed on details of the implementation of the programme, while systematic research in this area is

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