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Cover UK Politics

12. The nations and the union  

This chapter explores the UK as a state which is made up of a number of diverse parts. These parts are Wales, Scotland, England, and the territory of Northern Ireland. Each part has its own characteristics which show through in the political and constitutional makeup of the UK as a whole. The chapter describes these different components. It discusses the various differences between them and looks at issues related to maintaining coherence. Using theoretical models, it analyses the nature of the UK as the state, the nation state, and the multinational state. It looks at the concepts of consociationalism, the unitary state, the union state, and federation. It provides a number of practical examples which demonstrate how these ideas operate in the real world. It also considers the Welsh language, territorial variation in the party system, the ‘English Votes for English Laws’ procedure in the UK House of Commons; and the ‘Barnett’ formular for the allocation of funding in the UK.


Cover Contemporary Terrorism Studies

22. Counterterrorism and Human Rights  

Frank Foley

This chapter cites how counterterrorism policies and operations have impacted human rights in liberal democracies. It highlights how detention without trial, torture, and extra-judicial killings impact negatively human rights. Human rights are defined as the fundamental moral rights of a person necessary for a life with human dignity. Additionally, counterterrorism, in the chapter, refers to policies formulated and actions taken to reduce, mitigate, or prevent terrorism. The chapter presents key factors and mechanisms at play through case studies of Northern Ireland in the 1970s and the United States ‘war’ against jihadist terrorism. It also looks at theories of international relations as they relate to how human rights impacts policies for counterterrorism.


Cover British Politics

9. Governing from Below  

This chapter studies a key aspect of delegation in British politics: decentralization and local/national self-government. It deals with local government in England, and government in the devolved territories/nations of Scotland, Wales, and Northern Ireland. Decentralization in British politics has formed into a complex pattern, where there are different dynamics in the various territories: relative centralization in England, power-sharing in Northern Ireland, pragmatic devolution in Wales, and then a strong push towards independence in Scotland. For a question about how centralized or decentralized British politics is, the answer would need to be based on where a person lives, with England rehearsing the conventional arguments about constitutional centralization and the rest of the country increasing decentralization, if not a form of federalism. The chapter then assesses the question of the rationale and general stability of the system, with respect to the integrity of the UK as a whole.


Cover Contemporary Security Studies

22. Terrorism  

Brenda Lutz and James Lutz

This chapter examines the global threat posed by terrorism. Efforts to deal with terrorism can be considered within the framework of terrorism as warfare, terrorism as crime, and terrorism as disease. Which of these views is adopted often plays a role in determining what kinds of measures to use to counter terrorism. Terrorism is a technique of action available to many different groups; security measures that work with one group may not be effective with others. As a consequence, dealing with terrorism in today’s world can be a very complex process. The chapter first discusses concepts and definitions relating to terrorism before describing various types and causes of terrorism. It also analyses counterterrorism measures within the scope of prevention, response to attacks, international collaboration, and the effects of security. Three case studies involving the Palestinian Liberation Organization, the Ku Klux Klan, and the Irish Republican Army are presented.


Cover Origins and Evolution of the European Union

12. The Enlarging European Union  

Anna Michalski

This chapter examines the pervasiveness and importance of enlargement in the history of European integration. It first considers the principles, conditions, and instruments of enlargement before discussing the roles of various institutional actors and the candidate states. It then shows how, faced with the likelihood of large-scale Central and Eastern European accession, the European Union extended the requirements for membership to include the candidate countries' democratic credentials and economic competitiveness. The first enlargement included Britain, Denmark, and Ireland, followed by Greece, Spain, and Portugal, the European Free Trade Association, the Central and Eastern European countries, Cyprus, and Malta. The chapter also explains how the EU has developed a variety of strategies to deal with growing differences among the member states' socio-economic situations and policy needs without formally resorting to a division of its membership in concentric circles, core and peripheral groups, or alternative frameworks.


Cover Exploring Parliament

27. Parliament and Devolution  

Cathy Gormley-Heenan and Mark Sandford

This chapter examines the relationship between the UK Parliament and the devolved legislatures established in Wales, Scotland, and Northern Ireland. It first considers the impact of devolution on parliamentary sovereignty before discussing the establishment and development of the devolved parliaments in Wales, Scotland, and Northern Ireland. It then describes the key features of those devolved institutions and the way in which Parliament's interactions with them have evolved since their inception, as well as the division of powers between the United Kingdom and devolved governments. It shows that the influence of Parliament on devolution in the UK has so far been marginal, and that these subtle changes in practices at Westminster point to Parliament as an increasing reflection of wider shifts in public attitudes about the relationships between the territories of the United Kingdom, especially after the Brexit referendum.


Cover European Union Politics

27. Brexit  

Nieves Pérez-Solórzano Borragán and Michelle Cini

This chapter analyses the United Kingdom’s departure from the European Union (EU), commonly known as Brexit. The chapter examines the historical context that shaped the UK’s decision to join the European Economic Community (EEC) and its subsequent relationship with the EU. It charts the events leading to the 2016 EU referendum, including the campaign and explains the reasons for the narrow Leave vote. The Withdrawal Agreement (WA) negotiations under Article 50 are discussed by focusing on process, actors, and outcomes. This is followed by an evaluation of the negotiations leading to the signing of the Trade and Cooperation Agreement (TCA) and its implications. The chapter ends by discussing the impact and implications of the UK’s departure from the EU.


Cover International Relations Since 1945

27. Threats to the Existing Global Order: Instability in the West  

This chapter examines significant challenges to the status quo in the West. President Obama’s domestic success was the extension of health care, while the fallout from the 2008 financial crisis resulted in heavy electoral losses for the Democrats in 2010. Nevertheless, he secured a second term in 2012 after some foreign policy successes, including arms reduction with Russia and the death of Osama bin Laden. Ultimately, Obama’s preference for diplomacy over force allowed Russia and Iran to fill the vacuum in Syria. Donald Trump became the oldest US president following the 2016 election. Controversially, he challenged conventional wisdom on climate change, free trade, and NATO, while sympathising with Brexit and Vladimir Putin. The aftermath of the 2008 crash, the failure of neo-liberalism, UK austerity, and Eurozone instability are examined in the second section. The chapter concludes with the reasons for the Brexit referendum, the result, and its consequences.