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The Coalition and the Constitution Hardcover – 25 Mar 2011

4.5 out of 5 stars 4 customer reviews

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Product details

  • Hardcover: 162 pages
  • Publisher: Hart Publishing; 01 edition (25 Mar. 2011)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1849461589
  • ISBN-13: 978-1849461580
  • Product Dimensions: 15.6 x 1.1 x 23.4 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (4 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 478,934 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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Review

Bogdanor's short and readable critique of proposals such as the alternative vote and fixed-term parliaments is to the high standard one has come to expect from him.
International Affairs, Volume 88, No. 2

This is a book, which one hopes will be published in paperback so that many students of British politics can have it close at hand. It offers basic information about elections and coalitions to which one will want to turn to, time and again.
British Politics Group Quarterly

... this book offers many interesting insights into the workings of the British constitution, how far the negotiations to create the coalition conform to expected constitutional norms, and how far the government has altered or seeks to alter the constitution.
The Journal of Liberal History, Issue 72

About the Author

Vernon Bogdanor, CBE, was until 2009 a Fellow of Brasenose College, and Professor of Government at Oxford University. He is now a visiting Professor at King's College, London, Gresham Professor of Law, a Fellow of the British Academy and an Honorary Fellow of the Institute of Advanced Legal Studies.


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Top Customer Reviews

Format: Hardcover
With the UK coalition government now one year old and proposing significant constitutional changes, I read this book to gain an expert's insight into how it compares with previous coalitions and how its proposals might alter the role of the House of Lords significantly.

Although fearing that the text would be rather dry, I found the content and style engaging and easy to follow. If you are seeking a good explanation of the context for the formation of the coalition, of its constitutional aims and their possible consequences, you should read this brief but thorough volume.
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By Phillip Taylor MBE TOP 1000 REVIEWER on 21 Feb. 2015
Format: Hardcover
WRITING THE HISTORY OF OUR POLITICAL FUTURE?

An Appreciation by Phillip Taylor MBE and Elizabeth Taylor of Richmond Green Chambers

As we write, the UK’s new coalition government has been in power over a year now, since May 2010. If a week is a long time in politics, then a year must be the political equivalent of a millennium, which means that the new coalition is not that new anymore!

Since it first emerged, it has set to work with dizzying speed to impose its centrist, but radical and reformist agenda, presented as ‘the Big Society’.

The typical ‘informed citizen’ at whom Bogdanor’s absorbing and erudite book is aimed, has watched this process with a mixture of skepticism and hope, first predicting gloomily that the coalition would break up within six months.

Six months later, the skeptics have been somewhat confounded by what has become a relatively stable, pragmatic and for the most part, effective form of government, with the Opposition exhibiting various degrees of dysfunction and disarray.

As the author reminds us, this -- the first peacetime coalition in Britain since the 1930s, has come about as the result of a hung parliament, rather than some form of national emergency and as such, is more likely to recur in the future. He goes on to question whether the British constitution is equipped to deal with it, particularly in the light of proposed constitutional reforms, including fixed-term parliaments and an elected second chamber.

Another major reform (some would have called it a retrograde step) proposed by the Liberal Democrats was the alternative vote method of election to which the author devotes a whole chapter.
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Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
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Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
Bought for my son who is studying an MA in Journalism. He chose the book but other than that hard to comment.
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta) (May include reviews from Early Reviewer Rewards Program)

Amazon.com: 5.0 out of 5 stars 1 review
5.0 out of 5 stars A future history 21 Feb. 2015
By Phillip Taylor MBE - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Hardcover
WRITING THE HISTORY OF OUR POLITICAL FUTURE?

An Appreciation by Phillip Taylor MBE and Elizabeth Taylor of Richmond Green Chambers

As we write, the UK’s new coalition government has been in power over a year now, since May 2010. If a week is a long time in politics, then a year must be the political equivalent of a millennium, which means that the new coalition is not that new anymore!

Since it first emerged, it has set to work with dizzying speed to impose its centrist, but radical and reformist agenda, presented as ‘the Big Society’.

The typical ‘informed citizen’ at whom Bogdanor’s absorbing and erudite book is aimed, has watched this process with a mixture of skepticism and hope, first predicting gloomily that the coalition would break up within six months.

Six months later, the skeptics have been somewhat confounded by what has become a relatively stable, pragmatic and for the most part, effective form of government, with the Opposition exhibiting various degrees of dysfunction and disarray.

As the author reminds us, this -- the first peacetime coalition in Britain since the 1930s, has come about as the result of a hung parliament, rather than some form of national emergency and as such, is more likely to recur in the future. He goes on to question whether the British constitution is equipped to deal with it, particularly in the light of proposed constitutional reforms, including fixed-term parliaments and an elected second chamber.

Another major reform (some would have called it a retrograde step) proposed by the Liberal Democrats was the alternative vote method of election to which the author devotes a whole chapter. A/V, Bogdanor says in effect, would not necessarily change much, but could well, ‘facilitate future coalition governments in Britain.’

The promised referendum, however, demolished the A/V camp, which was roundly and soundly defeated by the great British electorate in May 2011 after this book was published. The pace of political change has a way of leaving even learned political commentators reeling.

Bogdanor then observes that the British constitution occupies no ‘stable resting place; it remains in flux’ -- just what you might expect from an unwritten constitution which is pragmatic rather than prescriptive – and which tends to be the way we British like our constitutions. Bogdanor views somewhat with alarm ‘the future of a constitution whose fabled adaptability and flexibility are likely to be severely tested in the years ahead.’

This book is written for the ‘informed citizen’ as well as lawyers, historians, academics, students, journalists and aspiring politicos. It’s an objective and largely non-partisan work, and ‘an attempt to write the history of the future’ – which certainly makes this important book an intriguing acquisition for the well-stocked political and constitutional law library as our politics remains firmly in coalition mode for the foreseeable future!
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