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Institutional Crisis in 21st Century Britain

🕔27.May 2014

Institutional Crisis in 21st Century Britain, edited by David Richards, Martin Smith and Colin Hay (Palgrave MacMillan, 2014)

In the 21st Century, a ‘perfect storm’ appears to have engulfed may of Britain’s most important institutions’. The list of those it has enveloped is extensive, but headline acts would include – the banking sector for malpractice, Parliament for its expenses scandal, the media for phone-hacking and the police for duplicity and corruption. It raises a fundamental question of whether there is an endemic and fundamental crisis in British political, economic and social institutions or instead simply a set of contingent events that have been discursively constructed and presented as a collective crisis? This volume offer the first major, wholesale consideration of the extent to which a crisis of legitimacy has taken root in Britain’s key institutions. It does so by exploring the nature of crisis across a diverse range of institutions, assessing the accuracy of the ‘crisis’ label and crucially considers whether a set of shared underlying pathologies exist that has led to a point of collective crisis and the need for fundamental renewal.