What have been the defining characteristics, trends and changes of Britain’s post-war public policy? Developments in British Public Policy provides a comprehensive review of all the key public policy sectors in contemporary British Politics today. Each chapter is written by a leading authority on each policy sector, and includes definitions of key terms, examples and case studies, questions for discussion, and suggestions for further reading. It will be essential reading for all students of contemporary British public policy and will serve as an ideal companion to Policy-Making in Britain: An Introduction.

Industrial Relations Policy

Industrial relations policy


Trade unions in Britain today are a pale imitation of what they used to be, and industrial relations rarely registers as an issue on either the systemic or institutional policy agendas. Yet during the 1940s and 1950s, the trade unions were effectively viewed as ‘estates of the realm’, powerful bodies whose co-operation was essential to Britain's economic well-being, who were deemed to have a legitimate role to play in various aspects of economic and industrial policy, and whom most politicians assiduously sought to avoid coming into conflict with. During the 1960s and 1970s, though, the trade unions increasingly became, in Robert Taylor's phrase, ‘scapegoats of national decline’ (Taylor, 1993: 1–4), and the increasingly recognized ‘trade union problem’ moved from the ...

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