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Political Culture/Cleavages in the United Kingdom

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Presentation on theme: "Political Culture/Cleavages in the United Kingdom"— Presentation transcript:

1 Political Culture/Cleavages in the United Kingdom

2 Religions in the UK Anglican: 26.1 million Roman Catholic: 5.7 million
Presbyterian: 2.6 million Methodist: 1.3 million Other Christian: 2.6 million Muslim: 1.5 million Hindu: 500,000 Sikh: 330,000 Jewish: 260,000 Other: 300,000 No religion: 8.6 million Did not state a religion: 4.4 million

3 Noblesse Oblige = The duty of the upper classes to take responsibility for the welfare of the lower classes Important tradition in British politics Legacy of feudal times (Lords protected serfs) Reflected in willingness of British citizens to accept a welfare state Margaret Thatcher’s administration challenged this by significantly cutting social services and social welfare programs

4 Ethnic Minorities Make up about 8% of the British population:
Indian (23%) Pakistani (16%) Afro-Caribbean (13%) Black African (11%)

5 A Common UK identity?

6 Political Beliefs & Values
Through 1960s British political culture characterized by: Trust Deference to authority and competence Pragmatism Harmony High voter participation 1945 to mid-1970s = Collectivist Consensus

7 Collective Consensus Began during WWII with Churchill’s emphasis on putting class differences aside in order to work together to defeat Germany The spirit of collective consensus continued beyond the war into the 1970s Both Labour and Conservative parties supported the development of the modern welfare system Beveridge Report – adopted by both parties during the war, made all citizens eligible for health, unemployment, pension, and other welfare benefits National Health Service (1948) – created under the leadership of the Labour Party One of world’s largest govt. health services

8 Political Beliefs & Values : “Politics of Protest”
1970s and beyond: Altered views Less supportive of collective consensus Support for free market economy Decreasing support for labor unions Increased violence in Northern Ireland IRA Thatcherism (Conservative Party in power) New Labour (Third Way)

9 Insularity Feeling of separation, in particular from the continent of Europe Sense of exceptionalism Has created friction with the EU Never adopted the idea of the single currency (the Euro) Different from isolationism

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