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
Date Written: December 31, 2008
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
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