Ethics and Integrity in British Politics: How Citizens Judge Their Politicians' Conduct, and Why it Matters
By: Nicholas Allen
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Public perceptions of political ethics are at the heart of current political debate. Drawing on original data, this book is the first general account of popular understandings of political ethics in contemporary...Read more
Public perceptions of political ethics are at the heart of current political debate. Drawing on original data, this book is the first general account of popular understandings of political ethics in contemporary British politics. It offers new insights into how citizens understand political ethics and integrity and how they form judgments of their leaders. By locating these insights against the backdrop of contemporary British political ethics, the book shows how current institutional preoccupations with standards of conduct all too often miss the mark. While the use of official resources is the primary focus of much regulation, politicians' consistency, frankness and sincerity, which citizens tend to see in terms of right and wrong, are treated as 'normal politics'. The authors suggest that new approaches may need to be adopted if public confidence in politicians' integrity is to be restored.
About the author: Nicholas Allen
'... provides an account of our disenchantment with politicians that is both sophisticated and powerful. The sophistication comes from the careful way the argument is developed and the extensive...Read more
'... provides an account of our disenchantment with politicians that is both sophisticated and powerful. The sophistication comes from the careful way the argument is developed and the extensive use of an original evidence base. The power is provided by the core message: there is a big gap between politicians' understanding of integrity and that of the public, and disillusionment with the behaviour of politicians matters in terms of democratic engagement.' Gerry Stoker, University of Southampton '... a major contribution to understanding why trust in Parliament has been in decline over time. It is a judicious blend of theory and analysis which explains the trend and why it matters. This book is a must-read for all students of British politics.' Paul Whiteley, University of Essex 'Allen and Birch's excellent new book is far and away the best empirical study of the subject. Their combination of focus group data and survey research enables them to explore public understandings and expectations, which reveal critical differences in how citizens and Members of Parliament view political ethics and integrity, and to show how citizens' lack of confidence in politicians undermines their participation in the political system. A must-read for anyone interested in the politics of political corruption and integrity.' Donald D. Searing, Burton Craige Professor of Political Science, University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill
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