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Edexcel GCE Politics AS and A-level Student Book and eBook

Edexcel GCE Politics AS and A-level Student Book and eBook

Graham Goodlad | Andrew Mitchell | Andrew Colclough | Ian Levinson | Samantha Laycock | Author


Additional Information


Exam papers covered: Edexcel AS and A level Politics
First teaching: September 2017
First exams: Summer 2018


This Student Book with e-book is specifically designed for the Edexcel AS and A level Politics 2017 specifications, giving you comprehensive coverage of the qualification content and great support for the new assessments – in both print and digital formats.

  • Covers the whole of the two-year A level course, and includes all three components of the course so you have everything you need in one book.
  • Clearly explains all key terminology and includes support for the assessments in every unit, including exam-style questions and guidance with exam technique.
  • Comes with an e-book to give you easy online access to the textbook content on the go.


Table of Contents

Section Title Page Action Price
Front Cover Front Cover
Contents iii
Component 1: Part 1 UK Politics 2
Chapter 1: Democracy and Participation 2
1.1: Current systems of representative and direct democracy 2
Features, similarities and differences 2
Advantages and disadvantages of direct democracy and representative democracy 3
The case for reform of the UK democratic system 4
1.2: A wider franchise and debates over suffrage 9
Key milestones in the widening of the franchise 9
The work of the suffragists and suffragettes to extend the franchise 10
A case study of a current movement to extend the franchise: Votes at 16 12
1.3: Pressure groups and other influences 13
Pressure groups: how they exert influence 13
How pressure groups’ methods vary 14
Other collective organisations and groups 17
1.4: Rights in context 19
Major milestones in the development of rights in the UK 19
Debates over the extent, limits and tensions within the UK’s rights-based culture 20
Chapter 2: Political Parties 24
2.1: Political parties 24
The functions and features of political parties in the UK’s representative democracy 24
The funding of UK political parties 26
2.2: Established political parties 28
The Conservative Party 28
The Labour Party 33
The Liberal Democrat Party 37
2.3: Emerging and minor UK political parties 41
The importance of other parties in the UK 41
The ideas and policies of two minor parties: UKIP and the Green Party 42
2.4: UK political parties in context 44
The development of a multi-party system 44
Various factors that affect party success 46
Chapter 3: Electoral Systems 48
3.1: Different electoral systems 48
First past the post 49
The additional member system, single transferable vote and supplementary vote: their advantages and disadvantages 53
3.2: Referendums and how they are used 58
How referendums have been used and their impact on UK political life since 1997 58
The case for and against referendums in a representative democracy 60
3.3: Electoral system analysis 62
Debates on why different electoral systems are used in the UK 62
The impact of the electoral system on the government or type of government appointed 63
The impact of different electoral systems on party representation and on voter choice 65
Chapter 4: Voting Behaviour and the Media 67
4.1: Case studies of three key general elections 67
The elections, their results and the impact on parties and government 67
The factors that explain the outcome of these elections 69
Class-based voting and other influences on voting patterns 73
Gender, age, ethnicity and region as factors in influencing voting behaviour, turnout and trends 76
Analysis of the national voting behaviour patterns for the 1979, 1997 and 2010 elections 78
4.2: The influence of the media 80
The role of the media in politics and its impact 80
Debates around bias and persuasion in the media 83
Component 1: Part 2 Core Political Ideas 87
Chapter 1: Conservatism 87
1.1: Core ideas and principles 87
Pragmatism 87
Tradition 88
Human imperfection 89
Organic society or state 89
Paternalism 91
Libertarianism 92
1.2: Differing views and tensions within conservatism 94
Traditional conservatism 94
One-nation conservatism 95
The New Right 96
Neo-liberalism 97
Neo-conservatism 98
1.3: Conservative thinkers and ideas 100
Chapter 2: Liberalism 106
2.1: Core ideas and principles 106
Individualism 107
Freedom or liberty 107
The state: a ‘necessary evil’ 108
Rationalism 109
Equality and social justice 109
Liberal democracy 110
2.2: Differing views and tensions within liberalism 112
Different views of freedom 112
Different views of the state 113
Is modern liberalism a contradiction or a continuation of classical liberalism? 115
2.3: Liberal thinkers and ideas 117
Chapter 3: Socialism 123
3.1: Socialism: core ideas and principles 123
Collectivism 123
Common humanity 125
Equality 126
Social class 128
Workers’ control 130
3.2: Differing views and tensions within socialism 131
Revolutionary socialism 131
Social democracy 132
Third way 134
3.3: Socialist thinkers and their ideas 137
Component 2: Part 1 UK Government 144
Chapter 1: The Constitution 144
1.1: The development, nature and sources of the UK constitution 144
The development of the constitution 144
The nature of the UK constitution 146
The twin pillars of the UK constitution: parliamentary sovereignty and the rule of law 147
The five main sources of the UK constitution 148
1.2: How the constitution has changed since 1997 149
Pressure for reform in the 1990s 149
Changes under Labour, 1997–2010 149
Reforms under the coalition (2010–15) and the Conservative government since 2015 151
1.3: The role and powers of devolved bodies inthe UK 153
Devolution in England 153
Devolution in Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland 154
Scottish parliament and government 154
Welsh Assembly and government 156
Northern Ireland Assembly and executive 157
1.4: Debates on further reform 158
Devolution 158
Electoral reform 159
House of Lords reform 159
The Human Rights Act 159
Overview 159
To what extent should the constitutional reforms introduced since 1997 be taken further? 160
Chapter 2: Parliament 163
2.1: The structure and role of the House of Commons and House of Lords 163
The selection of members 163
The main functions of parliament 165
2.2: The comparative powers of the House of Commons and House of Lords 168
The exclusive powers of the House of Commons 168
The main powers of the House of Lords 169
Debates about the relative powers of the two houses 169
2.3: The legislative process 172
The different stages a bill goes through to become law 172
2.4: The ways in which parliament interacts with the executive 174
The role and significance of backbenchers 174
The work of select committees 175
The role and significance of the opposition 177
Ministerial questions and Prime Minister’s Questions 178
Chapter 3: Prime Minister and Executive 181
3.1: The structure, role and powers of the executive 181
The structure of the executive 181
The main roles of the executive 182
The main powers of the executive 183
3.2: The concept of ministerial responsibility 185
The concept of individual ministerial responsibility 185
The concept of collective ministerial responsibility 187
Exceptions to collective responsibility 188
3.3: The prime minister and Cabinet 190
The power of the prime minister and Cabinet 190
The powers of the prime minister and the Cabinet to dictate events and policy 195
Chapter 4: Relations Between Institutions 204
4.1: The Supreme Court and the legislative and policy-making processes 204
The role and composition of the Supreme Court 204
The key operating principles of the Supreme Court 206
The influence of the Supreme Court on the executive and parliament 208
4.2: The relationship between the executive and parliament 210
The influence and effectiveness of parliament in holding the executive to account 211
The influence and effectiveness of the executive in attempting to exercise dominance over parliament 212
4.3: The aims, role and impact of the European Union on UK government 213
Aims of the EU and how far have they been achieved 213
The role of the EU in policy-making 218
The impact of the EU on the UK 219
4.4: The location of sovereignty in the UK political system 221
The distinction between legal sovereignty and political sovereignty 221
How far sovereignty has moved between different branches of government 222
Where sovereignty can now be said to lie in the UK 223
Component 2: Part 2 Non-Core Political Ideas 225
Chapter 1: Anarchism 225
1.1: Core ideas and principles 225
Rejection of the state 226
Liberty 229
Anarchy is order 230
Economic freedom 232
Utopian 233
1.2: Different types of anarchism 235
Collectivist anarchism 235
Individualist anarchism 239
1.3: Anarchist thinkers and their ideas 240
Chapter 2: Ecologism 246
2.1: Core ideas and principles 246
Ecology 247
Holism 248
Environmental ethics 250
Environmental consciousness 251
Post-materialism and anti-consumerism 251
Sustainability 252
2.2: Different types of ecologism 254
Deep green 254
Shallow green 256
Social ecology 258
2.3: Ecologist thinkers and their ideas 261
Chapter 3: Feminism 267
3.1: Core ideas and principles 267
Sex and gender 268
Patriarchy 268
The personal is political 270
Equality feminism and difference feminism 271
Intersectionality 273
3.2: Different types of feminism 273
Liberal feminism 273
Socialist feminism 275
Radical feminism 276
Post-modern feminism 278
3.3: Feminist thinkers and their ideas 280
Chapter 4: Multiculturalism 286
4.1: Core ideas and principles 286
Politics of recognition 286
Culture and identity 288
Minority rights 290
Diversity 293
4.2: Different types of multiculturalism 294
Liberal multiculturalism 294
Pluralist multiculturalism 296
Cosmopolitan multiculturalism 297
The conservative criticism 298
4.3: Multiculturalist thinkers and their ideas 300
Chapter 5: Nationalism 304
5.1: Core ideas and principles 304
Nations 304
Self-determination 305
Nation-state 307
Culturalism 308
Racialism 309
Internationalism 310
5.2: Different types of nationalism 313
Liberal nationalism 314
Conservative nationalism 314
Anti-colonial and post-colonial nationalism 316
Expansionist nationalism 319
5.3: Nationalist thinkers and their ideas 321
Component 3: Part 1 Government and Politics of the USA 326
Chapter 1: US Constitution and Federalism 326
1.1: The nature of the US Constitution 326
The constitutional framework 326
Codification and entrenchment 327
Vagueness 328
The amendment process 330
1.2: The principles of the US Constitution and their effectiveness today 333
Federalism 333
Separation of powers 334
Checks and balances 334
Bipartisanship 334
Limited government 336
1.3: The main characteristics of US federalism 336
The nature of the federal system of government 336
The relationship of the federal system of government with the states 336
1.4: Interpretations and debates around the US Constitution and federalism 338
The extent of democracy within the Constitution 338
Strengths and weaknesses of the Constitution 340
The debates around the extent to which the US remains federal today 342
Chapter 2: Congress 347
2.1: The structure of Congress 347
A bicameral institution 347
The election cycle 348
The distribution of power within Congress 348
2.2: The functions of Congress 350
Representation 350
The legislative function 354
Oversight 359
2.3: Interpretations and debates 361
The changing significance of parties in Congress 361
The changing powers of Congress 364
Congress and representation 365
Chapter 3: US Presidency 369
3.1: Formal sources of presidential power as outlined in the US Constitution and their use 369
The role as the head of state 369
The role as the head of government 370
3.2: Informal sources of presidential power and their use 371
The electoral mandate 372
Executive orders 372
National events 373
The Cabinet 374
Powers of persuasion including the nature/characteristics of each president 375
Executive Office of the President including the role of the National Security Council, Office of Management and Budget and the White House Office 375
3.3: The presidency 379
Relationships between the presidency and Congress 379
Relationships between the presidency and the Supreme Court 381
Limitations on presidential power and why this varies 381
3.4: Interpretations and debates of the US presidency 383
How effectively have presidents since 1992 achieved their aims? 383
The imperial presidency 385
The role and power of the president in foreign policy 387
Chapter 4: The Supreme Court and Civil Rights 391
4.1: The nature and role of the Supreme Court 391
The US Constitution 391
The independence of the Court 392
The judicial review process 393
4.2: The appointment process for the Supreme Court 394
The appointment process and its strengths and weaknesses 394
Factors influencing the president’s choice of nominee 396
The composition and ideological balance of the Court 397
4.3: The Supreme Court and public policy 399
Significant public policy cases of the Roberts Court 399
The role of judicial activism and judicial restraint 400
4.4: The protection of civil liberties and rights in the US today 401
Rights protected by Supreme Court rulings 402
The effectiveness of the Supreme Court in protecting rights 403
4.5: Race and rights in contemporary US politics 403
The effectiveness and influence of racial rights campaigns 404
4.6: Interpretations and debates of the US Supreme Court and civil rights 407
The extent of Supreme Court power 407
The political versus the judicial nature of the Supreme Court 408
Living Constitution ideology versus originalism 410
The protection of rights 411
Chapter 5: Democracy and Participation 413
5.1: Electoral systems in the USA 413
Presidential elections and their significance 413
Campaign finance 423
5.2: Key ideas and principles of the Democratic and Republican Parties 425
Social and moral issues 425
Economic policy 426
Provision of social welfare 426
Conflicts and tendencies 427
Coalition of supporters 430
5.3: Interest groups in the USA 432
The significance of interest groups 432
Interest group tactics 435
Interest groups and democracy 437
5.4: Interpretations and debates surrounding US democracy and participation 440
Chapter 6: Comparative Approaches 442
6.1: Theoretical approaches 442
Rational 442
Cultural 443
Structural 443
6.2: Constitutions 444
Similarities and differences 444
What are the significances of these differences? 445
6.3: Legislatures: Congress and parliament 449
The powers, strengths and weaknesses of each of the Houses 449
Comparing Congress and parliament 450
6.4: Executives 453
President and prime minister: five key constitutional differences 453
6.5: Judiciary and civil rights 458
Independence of the UK and US judiciaries 459
Effectiveness of rights protection by the judiciary 459
The effectiveness of interest groups in the protection of civil rights 460
6.6: Democracy and participation 462
Party systems 462
Party unity 462
The policy profiles of the main parties 463
Campaign finance and party funding 465
Pressure groups 466
Component 3: Part 2 Global Politics 471
Chapter 1: The State and Globalisation 471
1.1: The state: nation states and national sovereignty 471
Characteristics of a nation state 471
Characteristics of national sovereignty 476
1.2: Globalisation 477
The process of globalisation 477
1.3: Debates about the impact of globalisation including its advantages and disadvantages 485
The impact of globalisation, and its implications for the nation state and national sovereignty 485
1.4: Globalisation and contemporary issues 486
Poverty 486
Conflict 487
Human rights 487
The environment 487
Chapter 2: Global Governance: Political and Economic 489
2.1: Political 489
The United Nations (UN) 489
North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO) 495
2.2: Economic 499
International Monetary Fund (IMF) 499
The World Bank 501
The World Trade Organization (WTO) and G7/G8 and G20 503
Group of Seven/Eight (G7/G8) 505
Group of 20 (G20) 507
Significance of how global economic governance deals with the issue of poverty 508
2.3: Addressing and resolving contemporary global issues 510
The role and significance of the global civil society and non-state actors 515
Chapter 3: Global Governance: Human Rights and Environmental 517
3.1: Human rights 517
Origins and development of international law and institutions 518
The key issues of these institutions in dealing with human rights 521
3.2: Environmental 525
The role and significance of the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change 525
3.3: Addressing and resolving contemporary global issues 527
Challenges to effective global environmental governance 527
The role of non-state actors in addressing and resolving environmental issues 535
Chapter 4: Power and Developments 537
4.1: Different types of power 537
The use and effectiveness of types of power 537
4.2: Differing significance of states in global affairs and how – and why – state power is classified 541
State power classifications 541
4.3: Polarity 543
The implications of different polar structures 543
Consideration of changing nature of world order since 2000 545
4.4: Different systems of government 551
Democratic states 551
4.5: Development and spread of liberal economies, the rule of law and democracy 557
4.6: Impact of world order on conflict, poverty, human rights and the environment 558
Chapter 5: Regionalism and the EU 560
5.1: Regionalism 560
Different forms of regionalism 560
Debates about and the reasons and significance of regionalism 562
5.2: Development of regional organisations, excluding the EU 566
5.3: Factors that have fostered European integration and the major developments through which this has occurred 567
Formation, role, objectives and development of the European Union (EU) 567
Establishment and powers of key EU institutions and the process of enlargement 569
Key treaties and agreements 571
Economic and monetary union 571
Debates about supranational versus intergovernmental approaches 573
5.4: Significance of the EU as an international body/global actor, including the constraints and obstacles 575
The EU’s political, economic, structural and military influence in global politics 575
5.5: The ways and extent to which regionalism addresses and resolves contemporary global issues 576
Chapter 6: Comparative Theories 578
6.1: Main ideas of realism 578
States as key actors in global politics and the balance of power (state sovereignty) 578
6.2: Main ideas of liberalism 585
The significance of morality and optimism on human nature 586
Possibility of harmony and balance 587
Complex interdependence 588
Likelihood of global governance 590
Impact and growth of international organisations 590
6.3: Divisions between realism and liberalism 593
6.4: Main ideas of the anarchical society and society of states theory 593
Acceptance that there is anarchy in the global system 593
States have an informal understanding that ensures a degree of co-operation 594
6.5: The extent to which realism and liberalism explain recent developments in global politics 595
Glossary 598
Index 604
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