Politics in Modern Britain
This course will provide a wide-ranging introduction to British politics and government. It will focus on the British system of representation through parties, interest groups, and elections and on the formal institutions of British government.
Within that framework we shall explore some of the key developments and issues in British politics during the 1980s and 1990s: the revival of ideological debate, the challenge to the two-party system, increasing criticisms of British political institutions, the declining influence of social class on voting behavior and the impact of Thatcherism. We shall seek to analyze and explain important changes within a political system that has grown more fluid and complex over the past 20 years.
Dr. Tudor Jones has taught British politics and political theory at Mansfield, Somerville, and St. Catherine’s Colleges, Oxford. He holds the degrees of B.A. in politics, philosophy and economics from Oxford University, M. Phil. in political theory from Southhampton University and Ph.D. in British politics from Coventry University. He has published several articles on British politics and in 1992 was the Liberal Democrat parliamentary candidate for Buckingham. His Remaking the Labour Party: From Gaitskell to Blair was recently published by Routledge.
British Politics and European Union
This course will examine the political debate in Britain concerning the controversial issue of British membership in the European Community since its establishment in the 1950s. It will focus on some of the major developments and issues that have formed the background to and substance of that debate.
We shall, therefore, explore the changing attitudes of British political leaders and parties in their approach toward the European Community. From that perspective we shall chart, too, the development of British government policy on the issue from the various applications for membership of the community in the 1960s and 1970s through the 1986 Single European Act and the 1992 Maastricht Treaty to the current debate on monetary union and a federal Europe.
Human Rights in the UK and the USA
This course examines the judicial protection of human rights in the UK and the USA. The USA has long been a model for judicial protection of rights — via the US Constitution and Bill of Rights — and western Europe has, since shortly after the Second World War, sought to promote human rights via the European Convention on Human Rights. In the United Kingdom, the Labour Government’s election victory in 1997 led to the enactment of new rights-protection measures. This course will compare the various different methods for protecting rights, and will examine certain individual rights — such as freedom of expression, privacy, and freedom from discrimination — in particular detail. Students taking this course should possess some introductory knowledge of law as much of the work will involve the study of cases assuming familiarity with legal terminology.
Nicholas Bamforth holds Oxford B.A. and B.C.L. degrees in law, taking first class honors in both. He is fellow in law at The Queen’s College and a university lecturer in law. He has also taught at Cambridge University and at University College, London. His research and teaching interests lie in the fields of constitutional and administrative law, human rights, and philosophy of law. He is the author of one book and many articles.
The European Constitution
Since its foundation in 1957, the European Community (now Union) has been a unique experiment in economic, political and legal integration between different nations. This course will examine the constitutional structure of the European Union, and the impact that structure has had on the various member states. Arguably, parallels can be drawn between the evolution of the European Union and the early history of the USA, and this course will attempt to pinpoint them. Particular attention will be paid to the principle of supremacy of European law and its consequences for the constitutions of the member states; the role of the European Court of Justice in promoting integration; judicial review in Europe; and the single European currency. Students taking this course should possess some introductory knowledge of law as much of the work will involve the study of cases assuming familiarity with legal terminology.
Last Modified: November 9, 2004