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Macmillan Higher Education Palgrave Higher Education

Democratisation in Britain

Elites, Civil Society and Reform Since 1800

ISBN 9780333646403
Publication Date December 2001
Formats Paperback Hardcover 
Publisher Palgrave
Series British Studies Series

Democratisation in Britain is a novel reinterpretation of British social and political history since 1800 in light of the continuing debate about democratisation. As such, the book goes far beyond standard histories of political reform. In common with the politics in Northern Europe, North America and Australasia, Britain's democratisation began early and in highly favourable circumstances. The process took place in stages, only half-consciously and in the context of a generally benign economic cycle. The country possessed a vibrant civil society at most levels of its adult population, along with a flexible, competitive and opportunistic set of political elites. Partly as a result, the popular expectations and demands released by democratisation were modest and untroublesome. Countries undergoing democratisation since 1918 have been far less fortunate, and the process in thereby much more difficult. Thus this book may be seen as portraying an 'ideal type' against which to compare and contrast these later experiences.
Democratisation in Britain combines the disciplines of political science and history, and will be of interest to scholars and students in both fields.

JOHN GARRARD is Senior Lecturer in Politics and Contemporary History at the University of Salford, and is a member of its European Studies Research Institute. Much of his work has been located on the borderline of political science and history.

British Politics Before Democratisation Began
The Process of Democratisation
The Role of British Political Elites
Middle Class Males and Political Fitness
Working Class Males and Political Fitness
Women and Political Fitness
The Democratisation of Electoral Behaviour
Further Reading


This thoughtful and informative study in British democratization will appeal chiefly to advanced undergraduates, postgraduate students, and academics.' - Ian Machin, Unviersity of Dundee, Political Studies
Assign 'This is a wide-ranging and timely study, which places analysis of the process of political enfranchisement firmly in its social and cultural context. Those concerned with the nature of democracy as well as its future will gain much from reading this book.' - Alan Kidd, Social History
Assign 'Garrard's detailed examination of the sources and in-depth presentation of the argument makes this work a good addition to our knowledge of the British road to democracy.' - Dilys Hill, University of Southampton, Democratization
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