Understanding US/UK Government and Politics (Understanding by Duncan Watts

By Duncan Watts

Understanding US/UK govt and Politics is another quantity within the Understanding Politics sequence. transparent and obtainable fashionable, it bargains valuable insights into the similarities and ameliorations among British and American politics. those are summarized in necessary bins on the finish of every bankruptcy, the place there also are information of proper web pages and sure exam questions. The ebook starts by means of analyzing the surroundings opposed to which executive and politics operates in Britain and the us, noting features of the heritage and social constitution of every state prior to exploring the idea that of political tradition. The underlying principles and values of British and American individuals are in comparison, and the ebook is going directly to examine the structure and the security of rights, prior to contemplating the administrative, legislative and judicial branches of presidency in detail.

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Much depends upon the meaning of the terms ‘written’ and ‘unwritten’. Most of the British Constitution is written down somewhere, so that it is technically not ‘unwritten’. 4 It is largely because of its ancient origins that the British Constitution is so unsystematic. No attempt has been made to collate it together, and codify the various rules and conventions that are part of it. It is probably more useful to distinguish between: • codified constitutions such as that of the United States, in which all the main provisions are brought together in a single authoritative document; and • uncodified constitutions such as that of the United Kingdom, which exist where there are constitutional rules many of which are written down but have not been collated.

13 M. Shaw, Anglo-American Democracy, Routledge and Kegan, 1968. 14 R. Alford, Party and Society, Murray, 1964. 15 W. Warner, M. Meeker and K. Eells, Social Class in America, Harper and Row, 1960 16 G. Parry, G. Moyser and N. Day, Political Participation and Democracy in Britain, Cambridge University Press, 1992. 17 Political Action Study, 1974 and British Social Attitudes, 1986–96, cited by J. Curtice and R. Jowell, ‘Trust in the Political System’, in R. Jowell et al. British Social Attitudes: the 14th Report, Ashgate, 1997.

Conventions have greater importance in Britain than in the United States, if only because there were significant gaps in British arrangements which required some resolution. Americans have in any case a reputation for being more legalistic, so that at times in their history they have wanted to see things clearly stated and codified in law. But in America, conventions are not totally unknown. It is a convention that electors in the Electoral College Electoral College will cast their vote for the presiA system under which a body is dential candidate to whom they were pledged on elected with the expressed polling day in November.

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