Exploring British Politics is a concise, comprehensive, and accessible guide to the subject. Fully updated and revised, the new edition covers developments since 2016 in the role of the executive, Parliament, the civil service, political parties, general elections, party ideology and membership, as well as examining turmoil and leadership battles within the Labour and Conservative parties, the politics of growing inequality, demographic trends and their political consequences, and the future of the UK itself. Stimulating critical analysis and lively debate, it provides new perspectives on two key themes – the health of British democracy and the transition from traditional models of government to more flexible forms of ‘governance’.

Key features include:

  • a comprehensive analysis of the 2019 general election, Brexit developments since the 2016 Referendum to today’s ongoing negotiations, and the shadow cast by the COVID-19 global pandemic and its implications;
  • topical coverage of the fall of the Corbyn and May leaderships, the new Starmer and Johnson era, the rise and fall of the ‘Change UK’ party, the economic crisis, the role of special advisers, new social movements such as Extinction Rebellion and Black Lives Matter, and much more;
  • extensive guides to further reading at the end of each chapter; and
  • rich illustrations visually representing examples and data.

Whilst the book provides an essential historical background, contemporary issues are to the fore throughout and readers are encouraged to assess critically received wisdoms and develop their own thoughts and ideas. Whether studying the subject for the first time or revisiting it, Exploring British Politics is the ideal undergraduate text.

part 1|131 pages


chapter Chapter 1|20 pages

Understanding British politics

chapter Chapter 2|22 pages

Analysing British politics

chapter Chapter 3|25 pages

UK government in historical context

From Attlee to ‘austerity’

chapter Chapter 4|30 pages

Economy and society

chapter Chapter 5|32 pages

The media and communications

part 2|139 pages

Constitution and institutions

chapter Chapter 6|32 pages

The constitution

chapter Chapter 7|35 pages

The core executive

chapter Chapter 8|45 pages


chapter Chapter 9|25 pages

The judiciary and the law

part 3|143 pages

Multilevel governance

chapter Chapter 10|32 pages

The changing state

chapter Chapter 11|27 pages

Local government to local governance

chapter Chapter 12|44 pages


chapter Chapter 13|38 pages

The UK and the European Union

part 4|100 pages

Political parties

chapter Chapter 14|21 pages

UK party systems

chapter Chapter 15|39 pages

Party organisation

chapter Chapter 16|38 pages

Ideology and party competition

part 5|108 pages


chapter Chapter 17|43 pages

Elections and electoral systems

chapter Chapter 18|33 pages

Voting behaviour

chapter Chapter 19|30 pages

Participation beyond elections

part 6|21 pages


chapter Chapter 20|19 pages

Governance and democracy in the UK