The political reform debate in Britain since 1945: the European dimension

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Political reform has been a key issue in contemporary British history. The roots of the reform debate are mostly indigenous. However, it is argued here that the European dimension has had a growing, if often indirect influence on this debate at two levels. First, in the course of the debate about British decline since the early 1960s, other West European democracies began to provide reference points for the reform debate both in academia and in politics. Second, membership of the European Union since 1973 has been exerting increasing external pressure for change, with significant repercussions for the British constitution, most of all with respect to the concept of parliamentary sovereignty and the old Union.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)48-76
Number of pages29
JournalContemporary British History
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 1998


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