Scroll down to open individual chapters
The UK’s Changing Democracy presents a uniquely democratic perspective on all aspects of UK politics, at the centre in Westminster and Whitehall, and in all the devolved nations.
The 2016 referendum vote to leave the EU marked a turning point in the UK’s political system. In the previous two decades, the country had undergone a series of democratic reforms, during which it seemed to evolve into a more typical European liberal democracy.
The establishment of a Supreme Court, adoption of the Human Rights Act, Scottish, Welsh and Northern Irish devolution, proportional electoral systems, executive mayors and the growth in multi-party competition all marked profound changes to the British political tradition.
Brexit may now bring some of these developments to a juddering halt. The UK’s previous ‘exceptionalism’ from European patterns looks certain to continue indefinitely. ‘Taking back control’ of regulations, trade, immigration and much more is the biggest change in UK governance for half a century. It has already produced enduring crises for the party system, Parliament and the core executive, with uniquely contested governance over critical issues, and a rapidly changing political landscape. Other recent trends are no less fast-moving, such as the revival of two-party dominance in England, the re-creation of some mass membership parties and the disruptive challenges of social media.
In this context, an in-depth assessment of the quality of the UK’s democracy is essential. Each of the 2018 Democratic Audit’s 37 short chapters starts with clear criteria for what democracy requires in that part of the nation’s political life and outlines key recent developments before a SWOT analysis (of strengths, weaknesses, opportunities and threats) crystallises the current situation. A small number of core issues are then explored in more depth.
Set against the global rise of debased semi-democracies, the book’s approach returns our focus firmly to the big issues around the quality and sustainability of the UK’s liberal democracy.
These are words or phrases in the text that have been automatically identified by the Named Entity Recognition and Disambiguation service, which provides Wikipedia () and Wikidata () links for these entities.
"The book prompts us to ask some difficult questions about the state of our democracy and what the future holds for it and us. It is a worthwhile read for anyone interested in British politics, including students, academics, practitioners and the ...
The full review cannot be displayed due to copyright restrictions. You can read the full review at Local Government Studies
"Having taught British politics for over 20 years, I often find books written on this subject either too simplistic or too complex. However, not so with Dunleavy et al, which engaged me from the off and combined up-to-date research with excellent ...
The full review cannot be displayed due to copyright restrictions. You can read the full review at Parliaments, Estates and Representation
"Teachers need access to high quality and accessible resources, which are often difficult to find, it is usually a case of scrambling around the news, scouring through textbooks, white papers and political comment from trusted sources, there is ne...
The full review cannot be displayed due to copyright restrictions. You can read the full review at Teaching Citizenship journal
Dunleavy, P et al. (eds.) 2018. The UK's Changing Democracy: The 2018 Democratic Audit. London: LSE Press. DOI: https://doi.org/10.31389/book1
This book is distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution + Noncommercial + NoDerivatives 4.0 license. Copyright is retained by the author(s)
This book has been peer reviewed. See our Peer Review Policies for more information.
Published on Nov. 1, 2018