This book seeks to review the state of political issues early in the twenty-first century, when New Labour is in its second term of office. As part of the updating process it became necessary to choose which political issues are important. The book includes the main issues which appear in current Advanced Level Politics syllabuses. In the case of Edexcel, which offers a specific political issues option in its A2 specification, all the specified issues have been included. The book deals with the process of constitutional and political change which are issues in themselves. It also includes material on constitutional reform (incorporating the recent development of human rights in Britain), and devolution. The book includes the global recession and other recent political developments and looks at the important issues in British politics since 1945. It examines the key issues of British politics today: economic policy, the Welfare State, law and order, environment policy, Northern Ireland, issues concerning women, European integration and the European Union, and the impact of the European Union on Britain. The book also deals with the European Union and Britain's relationship to it. Finally, it must be emphasised that Britain's relationship to the European Union is in itself a political issue which has fundamentally changed the party system.
recession can be disproved by even the most cursory glance at the records. For example, on 25 August 2001, The Economist announced in its lead article, ‘Welcome to the first global recession of the 21st century’.18) Concepts like ‘consumer eih ch-3.P65 59 26/3/03, 15:09 60 Allen confidence’ are also treated almost as psychological irreducibles that intrude on the otherwise smooth workings of a system that brings supply and demand into equilibrium. Of course, once you adopt this perspective there is often a danger of ‘talking ourselves into a recession’ – hence the
, owing to growth in telecommunications, wholesale and retail trade, and ﬁnancial services. Prior to the global economic slowdown (which began ostensibly in the last quarter of 2000, compounded by the uncertainty produced by September 11, 2001), the US economy played an important role in supporting global demand – accounting for more than 50 per cent of the growth of global demand. While this was reﬂected in record US current-account deﬁcits, these deﬁcits proved to be an important buffer against global recession. Japan, on the other hand, has failed to live up to
and elsewhere on 11 September 2001 threatened to accelerate a nascent global recession. The sequence of corporate scandals that have rocked the United States in the months after have merely served to compound the nagging suspicion that all is not well with global capitalism. Ironically, the essential fragility of global capitalism is encrypted within the very metaphor that was coined to convey its presumed invincibility. While the declaration that we live at the end of history clearly articulates a sense of the ultimate triumph of capital, it produces an echo that
.P65 2 10/10/03, 12:30 3 Introduction The ‘Golden Age’ The 1960s fall within what Eric Hobsbawm has termed ‘a sort of Golden Age’, which began with Western Europe’s recovery from the Second World War in the early 1950s and ended with the onset of global recession two decades later. Hobsbawm saw this as a time of ‘extraordinary economic growth and social transformation’ within advanced capitalist societies, ‘which probably changed human society more profoundly than any other period of comparable brevity’.3 That which Arthur Marwick called a ‘cultural revolution
harmonise these interests with the consumer declined. Over the course of the next few years, the task of stabilising and rebuilding co-operative societies preoccupied IAOS employees. Their recovery faced further challenges as the post-war period slid into a global recession, resulting in a depressed market for agricultural produce. National economic success depended on the ability of co-operative societies to maintain production in underdeveloped districts to effect change. In districts like Rathmore, where traditional and inefficient methods of