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Dilemmas of change in British politics /
edited by Donley T. Studlar and Jerold L. Waltman.
Jackson : University Press of Mississippi in association with the Institute of Anglo-American Studies, 1984.
xiv, 251 p.
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Jackson : University Press of Mississippi in association with the Institute of Anglo-American Studies, 1984.
catalogue key
Includes bibliographical references and indexes.
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Full Text Reviews
Appeared in Choice on 1985-11:
The central theme of this volume is ``change'' in British politics, especially the socioeconomic changes that pressure institutions for increased participation in policy-making and, in turn, alter the conventionally understood operation of Britain's political system, causing a decline in governmental effectiveness. The authors address themselves to the quality of Parliament's representative function, reform of the civil service, the current status of Britain's party system, local government reform, devolution of regional power, the uses of referenda, Britain's role in the European Community, and the courts. Chapters are linked by an introduction that offers four analytical models and a conclusion that synthesizes the several interpretations that emerge. The models are incrementalism, or adaptive change; archaism, or ``grudging adaptation''; overload, or too many economic responsibilities; and postindustrialism, or increased socioeconomic complexities. The authors tend to agree that political change in Britain is based largely on the ``grudging adaptation'' model, although much of what they describe might lead one to wonder how that differs from incrementalism. As in many multiauthored volumes, the quality is uneven. Perhaps the most refreshing and incisive chapters are Kenneth Wald's examination of the political party system, and James B. Christoph's lively analysis of the civil service. The book raises more questions than answers, which is a tribute to its scholarship. Upper division and above and serious general readers.-M.E. Doro, Connecticut College
This item was reviewed in:
Choice, November 1985
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