Skip to main content

Research Repository

Advanced Search

State of the discipline: British politics in a cold climate

Beech, Matt


Profile Image

Dr Matt Beech
Reader in Politics and Director of the Centre for British Politics


The purpose of this article is to assess the state of the discipline of British politics. The article takes as its starting point the historic emergence of the first coalition government since the end of Second World War and the impact of its politics of retrenchment. From here the Conservative–Liberal Democrat Coalition's controversial higher education reforms in England are evaluated and the focus is unsurprisingly on the significant increase of tuition fees from September 2012, but also on the wider implications of the Browne Report. The article then analyses the changes in the discipline in the recent past, which reflect the tumultuous global events of the 1990s and the internationalisation of political science. The article then surveys the current obstacles and pressures that face scholars working in British politics such as the Research Excellence Framework and the emerging culture of the necessity for research income and its effects on scholarship. The article concludes with an argument for the efficacy of British politics as a discipline within political science.


Beech, M. (2012). State of the discipline: British politics in a cold climate. British Politics, 7(1), 4-16.

Journal Article Type Article
Online Publication Date Jan 23, 2012
Publication Date 2012-04
Print ISSN 1746-918X
Electronic ISSN 1746-9198
Publisher Palgrave Macmillan
Peer Reviewed Peer Reviewed
Volume 7
Issue 1
Pages 4-16
Keywords Political Science and International Relations; Sociology and Political Science; History
Public URL