Ideology, Power Orientation and Policy Drag: Explaining the Elite Politics of Britain’s Bill of Rights Debate

Government and Opposition, 2008

24 Pages Posted: 21 Feb 2011

See all articles by David Erdos

David Erdos

University of Cambridge - Faculty of Law; Trinity Hall

Date Written: December 31, 2008

Abstract

This paper argues that three factors have framed British elite political debate and outcomes on a Bill of Rights – the degree of commitment to an ideology of social liberalism, the Executive/non-Executive power orientation of key actors and the phenomenon of policy drag. These factors explain not only the overall historical contours of political debate but also (i) Labour’s ‘aversive’ conversion to the Bill of Rights agenda and passage of the Human Rights Act (1998) and (ii) the Conservatives’ more positive recent attitude to the Bill of Rights agenda.

Keywords: Bill of Rights, Human Rights, Constitutional Reform, United Kingdom, New Labour, Thatcher, Social Liberalism, Policy Drag, Aversive Constitutionalism, Human Rights Act, European Convention, Power Orientation

Suggested Citation

Erdos, David, Ideology, Power Orientation and Policy Drag: Explaining the Elite Politics of Britain’s Bill of Rights Debate (December 31, 2008). Government and Opposition, 2008. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=1765998

David Erdos (Contact Author)

University of Cambridge - Faculty of Law ( email )

10 West Road
Cambridge, CB3 9DZ
United Kingdom

HOME PAGE: http://www.law.cam.ac.uk/people/academic/d-o-erdos/5972

Trinity Hall ( email )

University of Cambridge
Trinity Lane
Cambridge, CB2 1TJ
United Kingdom

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