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2nd Sept - 22nd Oct
3rd Nov - 19th Dec

Spring Term 2015
5 January - 12 February
24 February - 27 March

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Curriculum

Politics Resources

 

Recommended websites - UK Recommended websites -USA
AS resources A2 Resources
Topical links

Topical links

Downloadable files Downloadable files
UK Elections and Referendums US Elections
UK Political Parties US Political Parties

UK Pressure Groups

US Pressure Groups

UK Parliament

US Congress
UK Executive US Executive
UK Constitution US Constitution
UK Election Campaigns US Supreme Court
UK Voting Behaviour US Rights and Liberties
   
UK Justice System

Synoptic Constitutions

European Union Synoptic Political Parties and Pressure Groups
  Synoptic Legislatures
  Synoptic Executives
  Synoptic Elections
  Synoptic Rights and Liberties

 

The Economist is recommended reading for Politics students, especially A2 students as its American political coverage is so good. Their student subscription details are here

A2 students may also be interested in Time Magazine - thanks Cal for finding these offers

 

UK Websites

BBC Democracy Live

Politics.co.uk

UK Polling Report

BBC Parliament Blog: Mark D’Arcy

Guardian weekly Politics Podcast

BBC Radio Westminster Hour weekly political round-up

Political Studies Association: Political Insight magazine

Politics Review

 

       

US Websites

BBC USA and Canada

NBC Politics

Fox News Politics

Washington Post

New York Times

US Political cartoons from The Cagle Post (updated daily)

Democracy in America: The Economist's USA blog - highly recommended

Wonkblog - excellent Washington Post blog on politics and policy

Crystal Ball - on the prospects for future elections

The Monkey Cage - political science commentary and analysis of current affairs, in the USA and around the world. Also good for those interested in International Relations.

CNN State of the Union- good weekly podcast

The New Yorker Political Scene, including good weekly podcast

The White House

 

AS resources

 

Topical links

Looking ahead to Parliament in 2014 - by Mark Darcy, BBC Parliamentary correspondent

LSE blog on the political leanings of UK newspapers

UK Polling Report on 6 key political trends in 2013

Constitution Unit: How often do Prime Ministers bow to the will of Parliament?

FT.com: UKIP surge in May 2nd Local Elections brings 4-party politics to the UK (h/t James Martin)

UK Polling Report on the prospects for the parties at the next election

Constitution Unit on problems involved with Scottish independence

Latest UK polling

 

       

Downloadable files

AS Assessment sheet - pdf

AS Assessment sheet - word doc

A2 Assessment sheet - pdf

Select Committees - pdf

Constitutional Change resources

"Dude Where's My Constitution?" - The Coalition and Constitutional reform - pdf

UK 2010 Election analysis notes - pdf

Past elections materials - pdf

 

       

UK Elections and Referendums

UCL Constitution unit video - Vernon Bogdanor on referendums in the UK

LSE blog on how the proposed EU referendum should be worded

Constitution Unit on a recent problem for AMS in Scotland

Referendums essay set-up document - pdf

BBC survey of referendums in the UK

Electoral Reform Society

House of Commons Library report on 2010 General Election

 

       

UK Political Parties

Conservative Party

Labour Party

Liberal Democrat Party

Labour List – activist site

Conservative Home – Tim Montgomerie’s influential blog

Lib Dem Voice - activist website

UK Independence Party

Green Party

       

UK Pressure Groups

 

Unlock Democracy Amnesty
Greenpeace International Greenpeace UK
British Medical Association CBI
Stonewall  Animal Liberation Front
National Anti-Vivisection Society ASPCA
Countryside Alliance RSPCA
Campaign to Protect Rural England NSPCC
Friends of the Earth TUC
Earth First Occupy London

 

       

UK Parliament

UK Parliament

The Record Review: BBC weekly report on events in Parliament

They Work for You – tools to follow Parliament and the work of individual MPs

BBC Parliament Blog: Mark D’Arcy

 

House of Commons
House of Lords
Political Insight article on social representation in Parliament Table of all Government defeats in the House of Lords

Very good study of social representation in 2010 HoC

House of Lords article - pdf file
Philip Cowley analysis of backbench revolt under the Coalition UCL Constitution Unit article - A Stronger Second Chamber? Assessing the Impact of House of Lords Reform in 1999 and the Lessons for Bicameralism
Comment on the political impact of the proposed constituency changes UCL Constitution Unit - Meg Russell on Cameron and the Lords 2013
Mark D'Arcy on further HoC reform Meg Russell reviews the changing role of the Lords
House of Commonsand e-petitions Constitution Unit on the effectiveness of the House of Lords
Mark D’Arcy blog post on changes to what Parliament debates

 

"Arrogant Posh Boys"? The Conservatives' social composition  

Good article on how a hardworking backbench MP can make a difference over time

 
Legislation
Committees
UCL Constitution Unit paper on how much impact Parliament has on Govt legislation BBC blog post on House of Commons committees seeking greater powers over appointments
Welfare ping pong - Govt uses its Commons majority to overturn 7 HoL amendments to Welfare Bill, also invoking "financial privilege" to prevent the House of Lords reinstating them BBC on Cable's Offa appointment and Select Committee rejection
UCL Constitution Unit article - Legisl case studies - ‘A Parliament That Bows and Scrapes’?: The Westminster parliament’s impact on government legislation 2005-2010 Mark D’arcy on problems of compelling evidence in select cttees
Mark D'Arcy comment on Gay Marriage Bill in Public Bill Committee

Mark D'Arcy on weak Select Cttee powers

 

LSE blog on the higher profile of Committees since 2010 reforms

 

       

UK Executive

10 Downing Street

 

 

       

UK Constitution

Codified Constitutions essay resources - Word Document

Principles of the Constitution notes - Word Document

UCL Constitution Unit

Unlock Democracy

Republic

Economist article on Impact of European Courts

Article on Scotland and UK Supreme Court

Former Lord Chancellor Derry Irvine on the Human Rights Act and European Law

BBC Democracy Live on a British Bill of Rights

Constitution unit on plans to reform the succession to the Crown

"Dude Where's My Constitution?" - The Coalition and Constitutional reform - pdf

 

       

UK Election Campaigns

Latest UK polling

UK Polling Report

LSE blog on the political leanings of UK newspapers

Interesting comparison of different pollsters' methodologies

Warning about misleading polling

By-Elections notes and data - pdf

 

       

UK Voting Behaviour

How2Vote online exercise

Voting Behaviour Task - pdf

Voting Behaviour data spreadsheet - xls

Earlham Sociology pages

UK economic indicators

House of Commons Library report on 2010 General Election

Economist article on regional voting

 

       

UK Justice System

UK Ministry of Justice

UK Supreme Court

Judiciary of England and Wales

Liberty

Former Lord Chancellor Derry Irvine on the Human Rights Act and European Law

Liberty on control orders

 

       

European Union

European Union

European Parliament

European Commission

Council of the European Union

Centre for European Reform

European Movement

BBC The Record Europe – weekly round-up programme

Political Insight article on where power lies in the EU

Graham Watson MEP homepage

Monkey Cage article on what's at stake in the 2014 European Elections

 

       

A2 Resources

Topical links

NY Times: McCutcheon vs FEC and campaign finance in America

Monkey Cage on why the McCutcheon decision could be good for US politics

The New Yorker on money in US politics

New research on age and voting in 2012

Monkey Cage on the surprising parity of the 2012 ground games

The Capitol’s Spinning Door Accelerates - NYTimes

Wall St Journal on the resurgence of Earmarks

Why Congress might be more productive - and less polarized - than you think

How race and religion have polarized American voters

BBC Viewpoints - different perspectives on whether American politics is broken

Washington Post article on divergence between Red and Blue states

Brookings Podcast: The Filibuster with Sarah Binder

Economist: Moderates under pressure

The Tea Party's plan to cripple Congress

Economist: New Jersey and Virginia Governor elections

The Right aims big guns at RINO "traitors"

NY Times: Political endangered species

NY Times:  Immigration poses threat to Republican unity

New Yorker: Mapping the GOP's suicide caucus -

very good on divisions within the Republican party and on their

apparent willingness to shut the whole government down

The 9/11 Trial: Justice Delayed

Drone Strikes: How a U.S. Citizen Came to Be in America’s Cross Hairs

NY Times: To kill an American

Obama's turn in Bush's bind

Visions of drones swarming US skies hit bipartisan nerve

Obama Administration weighs new drones policy

Military Tribunals: A Failed Experiment?

MonkeyCage article: The GOP and the Fiscal Cliff Vote

Ezra Klein: Goodbye and Good Riddance, 112th Congress

Economist: Are the Republicans mad?

Economist: One of the last moderate Republicans quits

Economist: Left, Right and Centre

NY Times on Republican soul-searching

Economist: The Politics of Hurricane Sandy - h/t James Martin

V Good analysis of changing US campaign finance laws

NY Times on Presidents and Foreign Affairs

Obama's problems in filling judicial vacancies

 

       

 

Downloadable files

2012 General Election presentation - pdf

Synoptic Elections - Newly updated with 2012 material - pdf

Third parties in the 2012 election

2012 presentation with graphs showing GOP primary results and delegate totals

A2 Assessment sheet - pdf

A2 Assessment sheet - word doc

Synoptic Constitutions 2011 - pdf file

Primaries and caucuses notes

Articles on the merits of the primary process

Conventions notes

US General Election and third parties presentation - pdf

Congressional elections - pdf

Mid terms 2010 overview - pdf

Third parties in US Politics notes - pdf

Synoptic Legislatures Booklet - pdf file

Role of parties in Congress - Powerpoint running as a pdf file

ObamaCare - Powerpoint running as a pdf file (updated Feb 2013)

Kagan Supreme Court appointment exercise - pdf

 

       

US Elections

CNN election results pages

Real Clear Politics: 21 reasons for Obama's victory and Romney's defeat

New Yorker article on Romney

On Voter ID laws - intended as a partisan method to discourage voting?

 

Primaries
General Election Campaign
2012 presentation with graphs showing GOP primary results and delegate totals FT VIDEO on Obama campaign
Kevin Drum explains the Invisible Primary Crystal Ball article on the role of the US Vice-President and the electoral calculations involved in their selection
Excellent comparison of the 2012 invisible primary campaign to previous ones Conventions notes
Money and negative ads in Iowa Eric Holder's defence of voting rights (v good on the civil rights context of current controversies)
Crystal Ball analysis of Super Tuesday CNN on the importance of the "ground game" to the campaigns
The Economist's analysis of Super Tuesday NY Times: Were Obama's early ads really a game changer? (h/t Henry)
MSNBC highlights of the 2012 primaries

Ryan Lizza in the New Yorker on the GOP primaries in context

2012 General Election presentation - pdf
Frontloading - website on the primary process Monkey Cage on the surprising parity of the 2012 ground games
Primary turnout compared
Electoral College
HuffPost Pollster Elections Dashboard - GOP primaries polling Interesting article found by Cal defending the Electoral College
Academic article on the Incumbency advantage in primary elections - h/t Callum Sommerton Crystal Ball article critical of Electoral College reform proposals
Monkey Cage on unrepresentative caucuses Article on how the Electoral College currently favours Democrats
Congressional Elections
Voting Behaviour
Congressional elections - pdf Democracy in America on economy and models re US election results
Article on gerrymandering US Voting Behaviour discussed
Redistricting reform

Exit polls data 1992-2012, with graph of changing ethnic mix of US electorate

Washington Post Wonkblog: redistricting didn't win the Republicans the House New research on age and voting in 2012
Washington Post Wonkblog: Gerrymandering is not what’s wrong with American politics  

 
Money
 
Economist: Elections & money  
New York Times campaign finance comparison  

New Yorker on Obama's fundraising problems

 

Romney's SuperPAC ad spending

 
NY Times on the Money Race at the start of the 20th century  
On the huge cost but limited impact of TV ads in the 2012 election campaign  
NY Times: McCutcheon vs FEC and campaign finance in America  

     

 

       

US Political Parties

Washington Post article on divergence between Red and Blue states

Wonk Blog and Monkey cage articles on the GOP's prospects: better than the post-Nov 2012 consensus?

or is the consensus right?

New Yorker article: Majority Leader Eric Cantor and the Republicans House of Pain

Partisanship scores for the 112th Congress

Role of parties in Congress - Powerpoint running as a pdf file

MonkeyCage article: The GOP and the Fiscal Cliff Vote

Economist: Are the Republicans mad?

Economist: One of the last moderate Republicans quits

Economist: Left, Right and Centre

Historic Partisanship scores

NY Times - Room for Debate: The Democrats Know This Script Well

NY Times - Republicans are more united than divided

Article arguing that the Republican party is an incoherent coalition, united only by hatred of Obama

Economist article: Political parties in decline?

 

       

US Pressure Groups

New Statesman article - Has the Israel Lobby lost its mojo? - h/t Rob Scott

The Capitol’s Spinning Door Accelerates - NYTimes

Article: The NRA's Star May Be On The Wane

NY Times: Who’s Financing the ‘Super PACs’ - Graphic

NY Times: Cancer Group Halts Financing to Planned Parenthood

The Outcome Of The Internet’s Blackout Against SOPA/PIPA | MoveOn.Org

Monkey Cage article: How Pressure Groups misrepresent the groups they purport to speak for

 

New York Times on the limits to campaign finance laws

NY Times: SuperPACS and lobbying

NY Times: Buying the Vote on GMOs

NY Times: American Trade Unions' effort to counter Republican groups

NY Times: Mitt Romney assures NRA of support

NY Times: GOP SuperPAC weighs hardline attack on Obama

Economist on Campaign Finance

NY Times: Political Dividends - on the finance industry as a pressure group

Economist: Corporate Lobbying - on the Chamber of Commerce

       

US Congress

Indiana University’s Centre on Congress

Congressional Institute

The Hill – covering Congress

Open Congress

Partisanship scores for the 112th Congress

Partisanship scores for the 113th Congress

CQ Roll Call analysis of partisan voting in the 112th Congress

Role of parties in Congress - Powerpoint running as a pdf file

Critical review of the 1st session of the 112th Congress

Ornstein and Mann article in Washington Post blaming GOP for gridlock and failure in Congress 

  & Economist blog post discussing Ornstein and Mann's article, with synoptic take on the effectiveness of legislatures

Wonkblog on how the Obama Administration is trying three different ways to get its agenda through Congress

Why Congress can't get anything done

Wonkblog: Why we shouldn't worry about Gridlock

Why Congress might be more productive - and less polarized - than you think

 

House of Representatives
Senate
House of Representatives US Senate

New Yorker article: Majority Leader Eric Cantor and the Republicans House of Pain

New Yorker article on the dysfunctional Senate
  Senate rejection of Balanced Budget amendment
 

 

Representation issues
Social Representation issues

Monkey Cage article on the impact of constituent contact on Congressional decision making

Social representation graphic of 112th Congress

Monkey Cage article on the responsiveness of legislators to constituent opinion

Monkey Cage article on legislators' misperceptions of their constituents' opinions

Committees

 

 
Legislation
Appointments Process
Thomas – Library of Congress resources on legislation and government

Appointment and ratification example

Washington Times on decline of Conference Committee stage

Fox News on recess appointments

Bipartisan ethanol vote in Senate

Article attacking the GOP for blocking Obama's judicial nominations
Boston Globe story on the the continuing use of earmarks Filibuster of judicial nominee in Senate
New Yorker: 4 Reasons the Gun-Control Bills Failed

Filibuster of Presidential appointment in Senate

Monkey Cage: Public Opinion and the Senate Gun-Control Vote The Hill on reform of the confirmation process in the Senate
Fox News on the June Senate immigration vote (h/t James Martin) NY Times: Obama lags on filling vacancies in the Judiciary
Wall St Journal on the resurgence of Earmarks NY Times: Politics and Vetting leave key US posts long unfilled
 

NY Times: Obama's Treasury Nominee weathers a wave of questioning

  NY Times: The Fight over Susan Rice
 

Court Decision reducing Presidential ability to make Recess Appointments

 

       

US Executive

The White House

NY Times: The Limits of Executive Power

Economist:: Can presidential appeals to the American public break Washington gridlock?

Economist on Obama's second inauguration - Coalition vs Tribe\

Economist: What Hillary did next

NY Times: Hillary Clinton's last tour as a rock star diplomat

Fox News on Obama's first use of the veto

Economist on Paul Ryan

Economist on former Vice-President Dick Cheney's memoirs

Economist on the problems of choosing a Presidential running-mate

 

MUST READ - NY Times article on Obama's use of Executive power to bypass Congress

MUST READ ARTICLE! Ryan Lizza on Obama's Executive decision making

Vodcast: Professor Bruce Ackerman on Presidential power

Economist article on Obama’s use of executive orders

Article on Obama’s use of pardons 1

Article on Obama’s use of pardons 2

Obama recess appointments

Fox News on recess appointments

Good article on the role of the Vice-President: argues that Biden has been unusually influential

 

       

US Constitution

Constitution Center - v good for interactive text of constitution with commentary

Constitution.net - interesting articles on constitutional interpretation

University of Montana resources on changing federalism 1970-1997

Rockefeller Institute presentation - good on federalism under the Obama Administration (first few slides and the conclusions on p18 are key)

Lafayette paper on contemporary federalism - p10 & p11 especially useful on the role of the Supreme Court

For the people who really, really want to know what Marbury vs Madison was about

Article on recent balanced budget amendment attempt

The Hill on the balanced budget amendment

 

       

US Supreme Court

US Supreme Court

Oyez – covering the US Supreme Court

Connell Law site providing summaries of recent Supreme Court cases

Graph of Supreme Court decision margins - 9-0 vs 5-4, etc

Analysis of Supreme Court rulings: activism or restraint?

New York Times: Supreme Court Term, Striking Unity on Major Cases

Very interesting analysis of the shifting ideological complexion of the Suprme Court

 

Article on Judicial Activism and Restraint

An outcry of liberal anguish from Jeffrey Toobin in the New Yorker about activist conservative judges

New York Times on Chief Justice John Roberts

Jeffrey Toobin New Yorker article on how Citizens United was decided by the Roberts Court

New Yorker's Jeffrey Toobin on Supreme Court nominees

 

NY Times: Obama Lags on Filling Seats in the Judiciary

 

Kagan Supreme Court appointment exercise - pdf

Article on the Supreme Court and business

Supreme Court reform plan

Supreme Court approval rating

Monkey Cage article: How much is the Supreme Court influenced by public opinion?

New Yorker article on Ruth Bader Ginsburg

The New Yorker on McCutcheon vs FEC

 

       

US Rights and Liberties

ACLU - American Civil Liberties Union

NRA – National Rifle Association

1st Amendment Center

Jeffry Toobin on a Challenge to Voting Rights laws

New York Times profile of Lakhdar Boumediene

New Yorker review essay on Lawrence vs Texas - v good on pressure group involvement in a key gay rights case

NAACP endorses same-sex marriage

The Arithmetic of Gay Marriage

New Yorker comment piece on gay marriage as a judicial and political issue

Arizona Immigration Law argued at Supreme Court

Article: Obama's abysmal record on civil liberties

New Yorker on Gun Laws and the Constitution

The 9/11 Trial: Justice Delayed

Drone Strikes: How a U.S. Citizen Came to Be in America’s Cross Hairs

NY Times: To kill an American

Obama's turn in Bush's bind

Visions of drones swarming US skies hit bipartisan nerve

Obama Administration weighs new drones policy

Military Tribunals: A Failed Experiment?

Forbes magazine on Affirmative Action case at the Supreme Court (h/t Patrick Ba-Tin)

NY Times: Obama speech to Planned Parenthood attacks recent attempts to curb access to abortion

NY Times: New laws ban most abortions in North Dakota

NY Times: Mississippi's only abortion clinic at risk

NY Times: Police using phone tracking as a routine tool

NY Times: Arizona's Barrier to the Right to Vote

NY Times: article on the Supreme Court politics behind decisions to hear the gay marriage cases

 

NY Times: Boy Scouts Lift Ban on Gay Members

NY Times: Online Privacy and the Petraus Case

NY Times: Anti-Muslim Police Training

NY Times: Arizona's Barrier to the Right to Vote

NY Times: Supreme Court to hear Voting Rights Case

NY Times Op-Ed: Rewrite the Second Amendment

 

 

       

Synoptic Constitutions

"Dude Where's My Constitution?" - The Coalition and Constitutional reform - pdf - updated April 2014

Synoptic Constitutions 2011 - pdf file

BBC Democracy Live on a British Bill of Rights

Political Studies Association paper on devolution in the UK

Political Insight article comparing US and UK Supreme Courts

Monkey Cage article arguing USA shouldn't move towards a Parliamentary system

New Zealand constitution 1

New Zealand constitution 2

Israeli constitution 1

Israeli constitution 2

Independent on Sunday article on codifying the UK constitution

Open Democracy satire on the UK constitution

Conservative Home article on codification

2011 Paper for the House of Commons Political and Constitutional Reform Committee

American Prospect on the weakness of a Presidential system

& Response from Economist blog

Good article on the influence of the US Constitution on the world and how later constitutions compare

Article looking at comparing separation/ fusion of powers in a number of countries

Economist on European Constitution

 

       

Synoptic Political Parties and Pressure Groups

Can Political parties be saved from extinction? - h/t Alex Smith for finding this interesting BBC article

Monkey Cage comparing polarisation in different political systems

Monkey Cage on the changing Canadian party system

 

       

Synoptic Legislatures


UCL Constitution Unit articlde- Synoptic Elected second chambers

Ornstein and Mann article in Washington Post blaming GOP for gridlock and failure in Congress

Economist blog post discussing Ornstein and Mann's article, with synoptic take on the effectiveness of legislatures

Synoptic Legislatures Booklet - pdf file

       

Synoptic Executives

Vladimir Putin returns to the Presidency in Russia

 

       

Synoptic Elections

Synoptic Elections - Newly updated with 2012 material - pdf

Article on how FPTP systems disenfranchise voters

Democratic Audit article looking at the most effective campaign methods

 

       

Synoptic Rights and Liberties

US Gun rights compared to other countries

Liberty on control orders


BBC Democracy Live on a British Bill of Rights

 

 

       

 

(Globe base image from ONT design - http://www.flickr.com/photos/ontdesign/692369952/)