17 July 2020
Post-war British Politics
Bringing together political science and history, this module will examine British politics since 1945.
The module is not just narrowly about politicians and political intrigue, though: it’s about ideas and ideologies, social change, and political communication. We will start by examining the structure and institutions of British political life. We’ll examine the construction of the welfare state and postwar social democratic settlement, before looking at the big turning point in the 1970s as politics shifted towards a ‘neoliberal’ governing paradigm. We’ll think about how the Second World War, social change, the end of empire and the development of Europe transformed politics in the postwar period. We’ll think about the practice of politics, the role of ideas and idea-producers like think-tanks, campaigning and the media. There will be a strong focus on linking history and contemporary politics, and we’ll hear from people in the thick of current politics as well as visiting key sites in Westminster and Whitehall.
Dr Florence Sutcliffe-Braithwaite is a lecturer in twentieth century British history; before coming to UCL she was a fellow of Clare College, Cambridge. She has published on Thatcherism and New Labour, and her monograph, Class and the decline of deference
This is a level one module (equivalent to first year undergraduate). Students must have completed one year of undergraduate study. No prior subject knowledge is required for this module, but students are expected to have a keen interest in the area.
Upon successful completion of this module, students will:
Have a broad understanding of the structure and development of postwar British politics, including how changes in society and in the wider world (in particular the end of empire and the development of the European project) impacted British politics
Have the ability to discuss the content and usefulness of the terms ‘social democracy’ and ‘neoliberalism’
Have developed the ability to think critically about the nature and limitations of primary sources as evidence for the construction of historical narratives and political science analyses
Have developed the ability to digest historical and political science texts, and analyse their arguments
Have developed and honed their essay writing skills: the ability to formulate a question, write in a scholarly style, construct and defend a coherent argument
7.5 ECTS / 4 US / 0.5 UCL
GBP 2100: Students joining us for six weeks (two modules) will receive a tuition fee discount.
GBP 1100: UCL offers accommodation in a vibrant area in the heart of London which costs £1100 per 3-week Session.