This reader presents over seventy case studies of policy making in Whitehall and Westminster, combining newspaper coverage, official documents, academic analysis and the recollections of participants. Simon James demonstrates the various ways in which policy originates, the way it is shaped within Whitehall, the different modes of parliamentary control, and the problems of implementation and policy review. He illustrates civil servants’ part in developing policy, ministers’ relations with their departments and their colleagues, and the role of the prime minister and cabinet. Case studies help to examine cabinet committees, the influence of pressure groups and select committees as well as the consequences of independent inquiries, the impact of the European Community and the restraining power of parliament and the courts. The case studies range from national controversies such as the pits closure crisis and the “Satanic Verses” affair, through to the hidden side of policy making including deals struck with pressure groups in Whitehall conference and wrangling in Brussels over the tax on whisky. Designed as a textbook for A-level students and undergraduates, “Policy Making in the British Government” provides a broad range of source material and analysis that will be of value to students of British politics, policy making and political institutions.
British Government: A Reader in Policy Making