We are delighted to announce that the winner of this year’s W. J. M. Mackenzie Book Award is A Government that Worked Better and Cost Less? by Christopher Hood and Ruth Dixon. The award recognises the achievements of academics, politicians, journalists and other contributors to the study of politics. The awards are hosted by the Political Studies Association, and took place on 29th November at Church House, Westminster. The event marked the 16th occasion the award has been won by an Oxford University Press publication.
We would like to take this opportunity to congratulate this year’s winners, and all of our authors who have previously achieved this prestigious award. To celebrate, we will be revisiting the work of our winners in two parts, starting with those from the past decade.
A Government that Worked Better and Cost Less by Christopher Hood and Ruth Dixon.
From one of the leading scholars in public administration, this book explores the modernisation of the UK Government from 1980 to the present day. A distinct and unique framework for evaluating the long-term performance of our government, the book also offers a comparison of our government to those of other countries. The opening chapter addresses new public management and the attempts of our government to provide improved and economically cheaper public services.
The Politics of English Nationhood by Michael Kenny
A highly and accessible account of existing interpretations of ‘Englishness,’ this book addresses ‘the English question,’ and the difficulties the major political parties of our nation have had in trying to answer it. Each chapter is rich in context, drawing upon the Blair days, economic change, Euroscepticism, and cultural anxieties – all of which have contributed towards the new definition and renewal of ‘Englishness.’
Strategy: A History by Lawrence Freedman
A fascinating account from one of the world’s leading authorities on war and international politics, this book explores the vast history and implementation of strategic thinking throughout time. Traversing across the centuries, the reader is immersed in the strategies employed by Achilles and Odysseus, Sun Tzu, Machiavelli and Karl Marx. Culminating with strategies of the modern day, Freedman conveys how strategy permeates every aspect of our daily lives, so that we do not becomes victims of forces beyond our control.
Morality and War: Can War be just in the Twenty-First Century? by David Fisher
A fresh analysis of modern warfare which addresses key moral issues such as human torture, the war in Iraq and humanitarian intervention. Fisher outlines the complexities of moral decision-making in the face of contemporary security challenges and philosophical opinions to war, including moral skepticism and relativism. The book also questions whether international relations are based solely on the pursuit for power.
What’s Wrong with the British Constitution? by Iain McLean
Based on extensive historical research, this book offers an energetic and engaging critique of the British Constitution. Examining the triangle of Monarch, Lords and Commons, the book demolishes many myths associated with the British Constitution, whilst offering a constructive alternative to the current system. McLean discusses two principals which constitute the British Constitution: parliamentary sovereignty and the rule of the law.
Delegated Governance and the British State: Walking without Order by Matthew Flinders
This book offers an insightful interpretation of delegated public bodies and their increasing relevance and influence upon British political life. The core argument of the book is that the British State is ‘walking without order,’ due to a general acceptance of the logic of delegation, with no consideration for the consequences. Flinders outlines his theories and aims to find some order to our delegated governance.
Utility and Democracy: The Political Thought of Jeremy Bentham by Philip Schofield
This book offers the first, full historical account of the political thought of Jeremy Bentham, the philosopher and reformer. Steeped in historical context, Schofield draws upon Bentham’s unpublished manuscripts and original printed texts, revisiting his inner-most thoughts on logic, language and real and fictitious entities, which ultimately cultivated his utilitarian legacy.
State of the Union by Iain Mclean and Alistair McMillan
A major study of Unionism in the UK, this book is the result of two leading scholars in the field. Revisiting the rule of George III and the era of Disraeli and Gladstone, the study covers major political movements of our history, such as Jacobism, Catholic Emancipation and Home Rule for Ireland. In all, the book aptly demonstrates how the concept of Unionism has steered UK politics since the 18th century.
Featured image credit: Phone screen technology by DariuszSankowski. Public domain via Pixabay.