Understanding British politics
DOI link for Understanding British politics
Understanding British politics book
The Westminster model approach to United Kingdom (UK) politics was accepted by most political scientists until the 1970s. It encouraged students to focus on such questions as the role of the prime minister, the influence of the Parliament, and ministerial responsibility. Westminster is often described as the ‘mother of parliaments’. Voters and voting behaviour are thus clearly part of the subject matter of politics. Long before the advent of universal electoral suffrage in the UK, members of the political class developed a theory which promised to reconcile the Westminster model with representative institutions. ‘Politics’ can be defined in several different ways, which give rise to very different approaches. The orthodox view associates politics with certain institutions and individuals, for example, the UK Parliament, political parties, and government ministers. The idea that political controversies should be settled by broadly accepted ‘free and fair’ procedures rather than by the use of force is the key principle of liberal democracy.