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In defence of British politics : the past, present and future of the discipline

Palgrave Macmillan
Publication Date
  • Ja Political Science (General)
  • Jn101 Great Britain
  • Political Science


In recent years the study of British politics has come under increasing pressure from a variety of developments within academia, most notably a growing trend towards analyses which take the international arena as the main focus of inquiry. This article argues that such changes have had a detrimental effect upon the status and cohesion of the study of British politics as a self-contained discipline, but that the recent decline of academic interest in 'British politics' has also been accelerated by the failure of British politics' scholars themselves to overcome the historical problems associated with the Westminster model. As such, this article traces the evolution of British politics as a field of study, and highlights some of the main challenges that it presently faces. Primarily, these are based around a lack of disciplinary coherence, an insufficient integration between theoretical and empirical, as well as historical and contemporary analyses, and an inadequate conceptualisation of continuity and change.

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