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Will a constitutional convention refound the British state?

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The UK is in what the lawyer and political philosopher Bruce Ackerman would call a ‘constitutional moment’. There are, obviously, deep and urgent questions about the future of the Union and ‘devolution’. There are related questions about the second chamber of Parliament and the election itself is likely to raise again questions over the voting system. There are multiple questions about the role of money in UK politics. There are challenges around surveillance and liberty in the digital sphere. And, not least, there are profound underlying problems with the political economy which has been built through the existing UK state: the fragility and unevenness of economic growth, employment precarity, long-term wage stagnation and housing market inequality. Multiple problems, rooted in th

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British Politics | Decision 2015 | Democracy and Elections | Special Series | Constitution | Devolution | General Election

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The general election and constitutional reform: A look at the manifestos

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One of the central problems with studying the politics of constitutional change in the UK is that the public does not care about the constitution. Unsurprisingly, constitutional reform does not figure prominently in the party manifestos for the May general election. That does not mean that these documents tell us nothing at all: they show that parties stick with their old policies; that the Conservatives seem to avoid any explicit reference to the constitution; and that all political parties appear to be willing to use the constitution to their own advantage. In this blog post, I distil some of the constitutional issues in the party manifestos of the three largest parties in Westminster in the last parliament: the Conservatives, Labour and the Liberal Democrats (if there’s time, I will d

Subjects

British Politics | Decision 2015 | Democracy and Elections | Special Series | Constitution | Devolution | General Election

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All for English devolution – but what about English democracy?

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English devolution has emerged as a prominent feature of the 2015 general election campaign for a number of reasons. One is the ongoing process of devolution that has been taking place across the UK, with the formation of the assemblies for Northern Ireland and Wales, and the Scottish parliament. Another is the aftershock of the 2014 Scottish independence referendum. Throughout this time, England has also solidified as a distinct national political community. Research indicates that over the past decade or so we have witnessed the progressive “Anglicisation” of the Westminster-based unionist parties. This means that Labour, the Conservatives, and the Liberal Democrats have all become more focused on England, in their political outlook. But up until now, these parties have sought to avo

Subjects

British Politics | Decision 2015 | Democracy and Elections | Special Series | Constitution | Devolution | General Election

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http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/3.0/

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http://politicsinspires.org/feed/

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