The UK political landscape in the 21st century: players, strategies, stakes

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The UK political landscape in the 21st century: players, strategies, stakes

David Haigron

Academic studies devoted to contemporary British politics usually focus on either a single or a series of electoral campaigns (psephology, with a thematic approach); a leader, a party (chronological monograph) or a set of parties (usually limited to the three main parties); a political philosophy or school of thought (anarchism, trade unionism, liberalism, conservatism, nationalism, euroscepticism, fascism…). Much rarer are works offering to embrace a more comprehensive thematic spectrum in a synchronic perspective.

The project is to map, in as much detail as possible, the British political landscape in the early 21st century, i.e. to present the players (major, minority, national parties, party factions, trade unions, federations, pressure groups, think tanks, etc.) who, on the electoral and media centre-stage, on its fringe or in the Westminster lobbies, try to impose their agendas and influence the public debate in a way that serves their own purposes. The field of research therefore stretches from the extreme-right to the far-left and includes both registered parties and organisations whose action is mainly political (influencing the elected representatives, mobilizing the citizens, taking an active part in public life outside officially constituted groups, etc.).

Submissions are invited which examine the contemporary British political landscape and enable the readers to have a better understanding of its fabric. To this purpose, authors may decide to explore the following points:

1) Ideology and identity
- What is the ideological background (thinkers, theorists, events, etc.) on which the identity of the party/organisation is founded?
- What does the party/organisation now stand for? What are the core values that provide coherence to the group? Is the latter still faithful to its original values (resilience, mutation, rebirth, etc.)?
- Is it possible to establish a sociological profile of its members?

2) Agendas and strategies
- What are the official objectives of the party/organisation in today's socioeconomic and political context?
- What methods does it favour to promote its ideology or carry out its action (election, lobbying, information, etc.)?
- What means of communication does it use (media, network, etc.)?
- Who is its target audience (voters, militants, elected representatives, opinion leaders, etc.)?
- What image does it try to project and how is it generally perceived?

3) Achievements and stakes
- What are the party's/organisation's achievements and how influential is it in the early 21st century?
- What role does it intend to play on the British political scene?
- To what extent can its action produce dramatic economic, social or political changes?

Other approaches may be considered (comparative study between various parties, analysis of the interactions between political parties and lobbies or think tanks, etc.). Interdisciplinary researches are welcome (psephology, cultural studies, communication studies, government and political studies, political science, political psychology, etc.) and, in this case, collective contributions may be accepted.

The articles should be written in English and include a selective bibliography listing the reference works published on the chosen topic as well as the latest researches carried out in this field. They should be sent together with a short biography of the author(s) (max. 200 words), an abstract (max. 300 words) and a selection of keywords (major references, actors and events). The articles should not exceed 75 000 signs (excluding footnotes, appendices and bibliography). Please follow the norms for presentation indicated on the LISA e-journal website.

Please send your proposals (maximum one A4 page) together with a short biography to David Haigron ( by 1st November 2010.