UK presentation 3 citizens, society, and the state

Report
The United
Kingdom of Great
Britain and
Northern Ireland
Citizens, Society, and
the State
Presentation Outline
III. Citizens, Society, and the State
a) Political socialization
b) Cleavages/Party affiliations
c) Civil society/Interest Groups
d) Public Opinion/Voter turnout
Political Socialization
How would you define political socialization, and
how does this differ from political culture?
Main agents of political socialization in the UK are:
1) Family
2) Media
3) Schools
4) Church/Mosque
Family
• In studies of children’s political socialization in the
United Kingdom Motimore and Tyrrell (2004), found
that the main influences on children’s political values
were parents and the media.
• According to British geographers Pattie and Johnston
(2000), “people who talk together tend to vote
together.”
Source: Pattie & Johnston (2000), People Who
Talk Together Vote Together: An Exploration of
Contextual Effects in Great Britain, Annals of the
Association of American Geographers, Vol. 90,
No.1, p. 58
Media
Includes newspapers, magazines, television,
radio, and films, internet, etc. We are
dependent on the media for what we know
and how we relate to the world of politics
because of the media-politics connection. We
read or watch political debates followed by
instant analysis and commentary by “experts.”
Often, we read and listen uncritically and are
shaped by opinions in the media.
Major British newspapers on the
political spectrum
Left
Centre
http://www.thesun.co.uk/sol/homepage/
http://www.thetimes.co.uk/tto/news/
http://www.guardian.co.uk/
http://www.independent.co.uk/
Right
Schools
• The British education system promotes democratic
and civic values through courses on civics and social
studies
• The state public schools promote multiculturalism
• The prestigious and elite “public” schools such as
Eton promote service and noblesse oblige and
reinforce class divisions
III. b) Cleavages
1) Historically, class has been the most important
political and social cleavage in the UK
2) Religion is NOT a major cleavage in
contemporary Britain, though it has been a
source of conflict in Northern Ireland
3) Ethnic cleavages do exist, and there has been
conflict at times, though they do NOT represent
major divisions throughout the UK:
-Scottish /Welsh separatism
-tensions between Whites and new immigrants
Traditional markers of class
Working Class
Middle Class
Upper Class
-53% of UK
residents selfidentify in this
category
-generally affiliated
with trade unions
-skilled or unskilled
labour
-Not considered a
property owning
class
-Less wellrepresented in
British politics than
the middle class
-43% of UK residents
self-identify in this
category
-Includes
professionals:
lawyers, doctors,
engineers
--upwardly mobile
-Value education
-Generally a property
owning class
-Well-represented in
British politics
-4% of UK residents
comprise this class
-born into nobility, or
bestowed a title (Lord,
Baroness)
-attend exclusive
public/private schools
such as Eton
-independently wealthy
-traditional landholding
class
Party Affiliation and Class
• Generally class and Party affiliation coincide
Labour Party supporters
Conservative Party supporters
•Trade Union members
•Upper class
•Students
•Business owners
•Ethnic minorities including
Scottish and Welsh
•Landowners
•Anglican clergy
•Working class
•Military
•Middle class professionals
•Middle class professionals
Does class still matter or exist?
Has class been redefined in the UK?
Religious/Nationalist Conflict in N. Ireland
Religion
Percent of
Population
Protestantism
45.57
Roman
Catholicism
40.26
No Religion
13.88
Non-Christian
religions
0.30
Most Roman Catholics in Northern
Ireland identify themselves as Irish,
while most Protestants identify
themselves as British. For much of
the twentieth century Northern
Ireland had experienced regular acts
of violence between Protestants and
Catholics. The violence between the
warring factions culminated in the
1972 Bloody Sunday massacre and
the IRA bombings of 1972, referred
to as Bloody Friday.
Main Belligerents in Northern Ireland:
Irish Catholic: Irish Republican Army (IRA), paramilitary group which sought reunification with Ireland
Protestant Ulster Unionists : pro-British paramilitary group which sought to remain loyal to the U.K.
British Army: enforced UK government policy of retaining control over N. Ireland and crushing
Irish Catholic separatism
For furthering reading
about this conflict see:
http://cain.ulst.ac.uk/
Scottish and Welsh nationalism
• A rise in Scottish and
Welsh nationalism led to
the creation of the
Scottish Parliament and
Welsh Assembly after
the 1997 referenda
• Does this mean that
Wales and Scotland want
independence?
The vast majority of Welsh and Scottish identify with
their nation rather than the UK state!
Source: Rose, Michael & Bond, Ross (2008) National Identities and Politics
after Devolution, Radical Statistics, Issue 97, pp. 47-65
www. dataarchive.ac.uk
•Support
for outright
Scottish independence
appears to be declining
Interestingly, there is
quite a bit of support
for Scottish
independence from
non-Scotts
• 32% of English and
34% of UK residents
favor Scottish
independence
•How might this add to
the cleavage?
Nevertheless, the
overwhelming
majority of Scotts
are NOT satisfied
with the status
quo. 66% want
change!
• The Welsh are nationalists but
according to a recent poll less than
10% of Welsh favor outright
independence!
Non-white Britons: has integration
worked?
• Roughly 10% of UK citizens are of nonEuropean origin
• Many are from former colonies (India,
Pakistan, and various African states)
• All U.K. citizens are equal under the law
• UK citizenship is determined based on place of
birth and NOT blood
The vast majority of Muslims identify with their
religion rather than with their state (U.K.)
Race riots: 1981 & 2011
Both riots occurred in high crime, poor areas
populated mostly by non-White immigrants
Same causes:
High
unemployment
and a feeling of
discrimination
towards nonWhite British
III. c) Civil Society & Interest Groups
How would you define civil society? What is the difference
between interest articulation and interest aggregation?
• British corporatism, 1945-1979
• British interest groups since 1979
British corporatism
Criticisms of corporatism:
Advantages of
corporatism:
-More efficient
policymaking process
-Government mediates
between the interests of
Big Business and Labour
in an effort to seek
compromise
influences
The UK
Government
influences
-Limits radical policies
Aggregates
interests into
policy
-Focused on status-quo
and continuity
IRON TRIANGLE
Trades Union
Congress (TUC)
-Limits the representative
process, only two “peak”
interest groups participate
can directly influence
government policy
-Undemocratic: countless
other interest groups have
little or no voice in
influencing British politics
British
Confederation of
Industry (CBI)
British Interest Groups since 1979
• Former Prime Minister Thatcher’s reforms
dismantled the corporatist system
• Although the Confederation of British Industry (CBI)
and the Trades Union Congress (TUC) continue to
exert a considerable influence on government policy,
they must now compete with other interest groups
in a pluralist system.
Pluralism
The UK Government
Aggregates pluralist
interests into policy
III. d) Public Opinion/Voter turnout
•Voter turnout
has steadily
declined over
the last few
decades and is
lower than
other
democracies
Do the Brits take their democracy for
granted?
Support for the EU is weak
•The Conservative/Lib
Dem coalition
government has
promised a
referendum on the
UK’s status in the EU
•The referendum will
likely take place within
the next couple of
years
Support for the British Monarchy
and traditions is still strong.
Source: http://www.leftfootforward.org/2011/04/verdict-of-the-british-people-long-toreign-over-us/

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