This is the most authoritative picture to date of what the British people and their politicians really think about the fundamentals of politics. Based on new and revealing survey data, it presents a wide-ranging analysis of British attitudes to civil, political, and social rights. The study uncovers two broad 'macro-dimensions' of political principle - liberty and equality - which underlie a large number of more specific principles and shape people's responses to many practical issues. Controversially, it claims that commitments to liberty and equality tend to run together - only the least educated treat them as alternatives; left-wingers support both and right-wingers oppose both. It explores the influence of social background, personal experience, and the institutional setting on attitudes towards political principles, highlighting in particular age and the complex influences of education and religion. And it also shows how arguments and propganda combine with political principles and party loyalties to influence opinion on practical issues. The final chapter presents an overall model and quantifies the relative power of all these different influences.
The book will be invaluable reading for all those interested in British politics, political sociology, civil liberties, and public opinion as well as those planning their own social science survey research.
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(244mm x 164mm x 35mm)
Publisher: Oxford University Press
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