Contrary to claims of Britain’s enduring political and constitutional distinctiveness, in the period from 1997 to 2016 the UK in fact modernised its polity by following several strong ‘Europeanisation’ trends. British democracy came to increasingly resemble other European liberal democracies in some fundamental ways. Yet now this meta-narrative may be lost following Brexit. Patrick Dunleavy explores some implications of […]
Liberal democracies combine core ‘macro-institutions’ (like free elections and control by legislatures) with swarms of supportive ‘micro-institutions’. By contrast, semi-democracies keep only the façade of macro-institutions, subverting a range of critical micro-institutions so as to make political competition and popular control a hollow sham. Drawing on a new book, Patrick Dunleavy explains why these developments mean that political science […]
As part of the 2017 Audit of UK Democracy, Artemis Photiadou and Patrick Dunleavy consider how well the House of Commons functions as a legislature. Is Parliament still an effective focus of national debate and close control of the executive? And how well does the Commons function in scrutinising and passing legislation, or monitoring policy implementation?
This article was published in 2017. To read […]
When on Westminster Bridge people could be mowed down, did we do a good job of ‘expecting the unexpected’?
Parliament’s security is under review following the attack in Westminster. But, when pedestrians could be hit next to Big Ben, there may be more to review than the protection of the building alone. Patrick Dunleavy asks whether our approaches to security are as effective as they could be, considering the constantly shifting terrorist methods. He explains why in combating […]
In Scotland, Wales and the London Assembly elections every voter has TWO choices this Thursday. Here’s how to use both votes well
Voters are used to a two-vote electoral system for the Edinburgh Parliament, and the Assemblies in Cardiff and London. But how these systems operate changes a bit every time, with changing party fortunes. And this year some politicians (especially in Scotland) are advising voters to do things that may ‘waste’ one of their votes. Wherever you stand politically, Professor […]
Confounding the pollsters and the pundits, voters in England have given David Cameron another three years as Prime Minister, collapsed the Liberal Democrats to a shell and dashed the Labour elite’s dream of edging back into power via a minority government. Patrick Dunleavy unravels what was and was not historic in the 2015 general election results.
Expatiating on the historic resonance […]