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Democratic DriftMajoritarian Modification and Democratic Anomie in the United Kingdom$
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Matthew Flinders

Print publication date: 2009

Print ISBN-13: 9780199271597

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: February 2010

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199271597.001.0001

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Constitutional Anomie

Constitutional Anomie

Chapter:
(p.3) Chapter 1 Constitutional Anomie
Source:
Democratic Drift
Author(s):

Matthew Flinders (Contributor Webpage)

Publisher:
Oxford University Press
DOI:10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199271597.003.0001

During 1997–2007 the constitution of the United Kingdom was modified but not fundamentally reformed. New Labour suffered from constitutional anomie predominantly due to intra‐executive confusion regarding what it was seeking to achieve. Constitutional anomie is a debilitating condition. Its symptoms include the introduction of reforms in a manner bereft of any underlying logic or explicit principles combined with the inability to adopt a strategic approach which is sensitive to the inter‐related nature of any constitutional configuration. It is therefore an ailment of both mental and physical health vis‐à‐vis the body politic. Social and political anxiety, confusion, and frustration emerge with the result that reforms that were designed to enhance levels of public trust and confidence in politics, politicians and political institutions can actually have the opposite effect.

Keywords:   constitutional anomie, constitutional morality, democratic drift, power‐hoarding, majoritarian modification, ‘mega‐politics’

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