Kopiitudashat's Blog

October 8, 2009

The Power of The United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland

Filed under: IR stuff — kopiitudashat @ 6:39 am

Britain, officially named as United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland, is both one of the most developed country in West Europe and one of the world’s higher ranking democratic states. It was a pluri-national state with four distinct national space : England, Wales, Scotland and Northern Ireland. Her capital city is London and the territory lies in 243,000 sq km . It is located as far north in latitude as Labrador in North America, but, like the rest of northern Europe, it is warmed by the Gulf Stream flowing out of the North Atlantic Ocean . The country with the world’s highest literacy rate is consists by British, Irish, West Indian, South Asian nation is highly populated with the population reached 60.975 million that over 83 percent of the total population of the United Kingdom lives in England, 9 percent in Scotland, 5 percent in Wales, and 3 percent in Northern Ireland .
The United Kingdom has the fifth-largest economy in the world, is the second-largest economy in the European Union, and is a major international trading power though has been affected by recent financial market turbulence. Compared with other industrialized nations, the British economy is no longer the great engine of production it once was. Despite high levels of unemployment among minority populations and high levels of income inequality, governmental stability appears almost certain to continue. The major concern of work field is service (80.8%) and industrial area (17.6%) . Since 1979, the British Government has privatized most state-owned companies. The Labour government has continued the privatization policy of its Conservative predecessor, particularly by encouraging “public-private partnerships” in such areas as the London Underground.
Over 90 percent of total wages and salaries in the economy are paid in England, with only 1 percent going to residents of Northern Ireland . Law, language and religion also differ in the four parts of the UK. In economic terms, the divide in the UK as a much between the south of England and the rest of the country as it is between England and the non-English nations. These economic differences have political importance, for they create a sense of deprivation among non-English groups within the UK, as well as among some residents of northern England, thus these areas vote heavily for the Labour Party. Those social class is the most commonly identified with politics and political conflicts in the UK. There were also ethnic and regional cleavages based on the national constituent elements of the UK.
The evolutionary change so characteristic of British political life has been facilitated by the absence of a written constitution. The political culture of the UK is traditionally modern, a modern democracy but permitting an elite to govern and exercising latent democratic power only at agreed upon times. We called it “hybrid political system” , a parliamentary democracy and a constitutional monarchy without a codified written constitution. This culture has not been static but has permitted relatively gradual changed based on pragmatic acceptance of changing national needs and changing social values. The British political system does not possess an obvious moment of foundation. There has been no catastrophic so there is no redefinition and modernization in the political system and there is no revolutionary movement so we can’t identify where the modern political system emerged. She was unitary, governed from the center by the Westminster parliament and the Whitehall bureaucracy.
The British state was captured by the interest of financial capital rather than those of domestically based productive capital. She has no formal division of powers between its constituent units. So, the major political issues there is debates concern rival model of political economy, alternative conceptions of the appropriate global alignment of the British state and dilemmas about the territorial organizations of the United Kingdom. British government is dominated by the central institution of the British state in London. Post-war British electoral politics has been dominated by a competition between two major political forces, the Conservative and Labour Parties. Each has rules the single party government for a long time. Religion also play a role in British politics. The monarch is required to be a Protestant, which in practice has meant a member of the Church of England but there were also Roman Catholic (mostly Anglican) and Muslim, Hindu and Buddhist. The politics there may also be about substantive issues such as Green Movement.
Besides the old imperialism and colonialism in 20th century, The United Kingdom’s history was began in Roman invasion in Europe in 55 BC. Then in 1707, England and Scotland that both were separated independent kingdoms were unified as Great Britain, sharing a single Parliament at Westminster. Influenced by its history, The United Kingdom has one of the most powerful state in the world, so this part identify her foreign politics in the aftermath. This pattern of foreign politics has been described by Winston Churchill as operating within the context of three overlapping circles of influence : the Empire, the Atlantic alliance with the USA and Europe. In the empire, the 20th century was marked by her large colonization and imperialism all around the world based on the geopolitical view of sea power. In the alliance scope, The United Kingdom is a founding member of the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO) and is one of NATO’s major European maritime, air, and land powers. She also one of the member of European Union which its entry in 1973 has been one of the major changes in the political environment there. In the contemporary era, The United Kingdom foreign policy is characterized by special relationship with the USA. Thus, she involved also in an amount of USA’s controversial decision such as Iraq War in 2003 and a sequence of war against terrorism all around the world. It also the fifth-largest market for U.S. goods exports after Canada, Mexico, China, and Japan, and the sixth-largest supplier of U.S. imports after Canada, China, Mexico, Japan, and Germany.
From the description above, we can make a conclude that British was the powerful empire in the world and despite her inclination today, we still can say the remain such as her language as the international language, her political model as the democratic model to the other countries, etc.
Bibliography :
Rosamond, Ben, Britain
G Weisser, Henry and Mark Kishlansky, United Kingdom, Microsoft® Student 2008 [DVD]. Redmond
“The United Kingdom”, http://www.state.gov, diakses pada 28 September 2009
Peters, B.Gity, ‘The Context of British Politics ‘ in The United Kingdom

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