This article deals with the evidence on widening class inequalities and addresses how that evidence may be used to evaluate Labour's ten years in power as it has sought to make Britain a more equal society. It first covers the main patterns and trends in class inequalities in Britain from the 1940s to the 1990s. The ongoing controversies around class and the growing consensus that social mobility is declining are explained. The article then elaborates Labour's social policies to enhance social mobility with specific reference to its education policies. Furthermore, it presents the challenges that remain and the difficulties that Labour confronts in tackling inequalities that have proved so resistant to change. The reproduction of class inequalities across generations is a complex affair and policy interventions have to be equally sophisticated in fashion. To date, policies to alleviate class inequalities have a mild effect.
Andrew Blick and George W. Jones
In exercising leadership, prime ministers must attain the compliance of individuals such as cabinet ministers. The extent to which premiers can secure such cooperation depends to a substantial extent on personal and political considerations and circumstances. Consequently prime ministers depend upon forces that are not within their immediate control; and the bases for the authority of premiers are changeable. They are subject to what can be termed ‘power contingencies’. It is necessary to develop an analytical framework wide enough fully to incorporate the role of contingencies; and to assess patterns over time through historical analysis. Discussions of prime-ministerial power can be grouped into two broad schools. The first emphasizes prime-ministerial dominance; the second stresses the constraints upon the power of the premier, and tends to place greater emphasis on contingencies. An important theme in a number of theoretical approaches to the premiership is the relationship between individual premiers and the wider environment within which they function. Through applying historical and theoretical analysis, the authors identify various errors in existing literature. Research opportunities exist in the study of the operation of the UK premiership within the coalition government formed in 2010.
One of the principal ways of seeing the emergence and development of ethno-religious equality is in terms of a grievance of exclusion from the existing equality framework and its utilization in order to extend it to address the felt exclusion and to develop and seek public recognition for a minority subjectivity ignored by liberal legislators. An important problem for political blackness came from an internal ambivalence, namely whether blackness as a political identity was sufficiently distinct from, and could mobilize without, blackness as an ethnic pride movement of people of African descent. The issues of ethnicity and Muslim honour are presented. It also considers the expanding of racial equality to include religious equality. It is shown that Labour's attentiveness to Muslim agenda precedes the war or even 9/11. It is true that many Muslim activists have walked away from the Labour Party and many more others feel betrayed by the Iraq War and feel victimized by the anti-terrorism measures.
This article is concerned with the extent and manner in which feminism as a critical perspective has informed scholarly analyses of British politics. It starts by presenting an account of British feminism as an evolving dialogue. It evaluates the influence of feminism on the study of British politics, in comparison with its impact in other areas of social science and the humanities, and even compared with other fields of politics such as international relations. Moreover, the article explores the impact in greater detail, under the heads of normative thrust, epistemology, subject matter, concepts, and methods. It is shown that feminism as a perspective has tremendous relevance for politics and specifically British politics. It continues to inspire scholarly research into many different aspects of British politics, and indeed seems to have enjoyed a recent surge with the emergence of a new generation of scholars.
This article offers an assessment of the current state of US presidential election forecasting models. It pays attention to presidential forecasting models from the last three election cycles. It starts by exploring ‘under the hood’ and describes the specifics of the most widely known models from the 2004 election. In addition, the predictions made by these models are addressed and the determinants of forecasting accuracy from 1996 to 2004 are identified. Moreover, the article explores the lessons learned from the 2000 campaign and the alternatives to the dominant aggregate-national forecasting models: electronic markets, citizen forecasts, and state-level forecasting models. From a forecasting perspective, the 2008 election outcome was business as usual. Some models were more accurate than others, as is always the case, but the average error was somewhat lower than in the past two elections cycles.
This article deals with the transition over a century from when the printed press enjoyed a monopoly, via the slow growth to the dominance of radio, and then television, to a world of almost infinite diversity with not only multiple television channels, but also the Internet, blogging, and text messages. For most of the period, really until the last decade of the twentieth century, political journalism was dominated by a relatively few newspaper and broadcasting outlets which concentrated mainly on Westminster. Television and radio have become much more important as a source of political news and in shaping public views than the written press since the 1960s. The rise of television changed the way in which political journalism worked. The Internet can, and should, supplement conventional newspaper and broadcast journalism.
Charles Pattie and Ron Johnston
This article traces that shift in academic understandings of British voting. Explanations of electoral alignment drew primarily on two different theoretical traditions: partisan identification and social cleavages. The origins of dealignment lie deep in the 1970s recession. Dealignment was a political earthquake waiting to happen. A striking generational shift in political attitudes had occurred among skilled manual workers. Political failure in the 1970s was one of the triggers of partisan dealignment. British electoral behaviour is now influenced much more by valence issues than by class and partisan identity. Identity and voting within the UK are both reported here. British voting studies have moved against the grain, leaving behind an interest in identity as other areas of politics embrace it. The cases of Black and Minority Ethnic (BME) and nationalist voting notwithstanding, the new accepted wisdom in the field is that identity is now much less important than evaluations of government performance.