insight4me Politics – UK vs US Politics With Goldsmiths, University of London & University of East Anglia
Time: 3.35pm – 4.35pm
Speaker: Dr Paul Gunn
Full Event Details:
Of all the differences between American and British politics, perhaps the most important concerns the expectations of their various electorates. The roots of this difference lie in the first three decades of the twentieth century. Where successive British governments resisted demands for social reform, these demands led in the United States, to a new, democratic interpretation of the constitution, and a correspondingly activist role for the president. These developments, I argue, created a new political order in the US, in which mobilising the support of the people is more important than deliberating the complexities of public policy. Hence, the president is treated as a heroic (or demonic) figure in a way that prime ministers are not—or, at least, in a way that they didn’t used to be. For the consequences of America’s uniquely activist office of the president, I argue, are that, first, politics is transformed into a conspiratorial hunt for the villains who stand in the people’s way; and second, that this rhetorical transformation has tended to reshape politics even in places that lack America’s unique institutions and history. There is no better example of this, I suggest, than the UK.
Bookings by Teachers for Key Stage 4 (Students aged 14-16)
Bookings by Teachers for Key Stage 5 (Students aged 16-18)
Individuals (Enquiry not required to be through a school)