British Politics Group




The Legacy and the Future

A Conference Sponsored by the British Politics Group

Wednesday, August 29, 2007

The Gleacher Center, University of Chicago Business School

Chicago, IL


Much like Margaret Thatcher before him, Tony Blair has dominated the British political scene for nearly a decade. Although the date of his actual departure from 10 Downing Street remains a point of speculation, he has made it clear that he will step down prior to the next General Election. What has been the legacy of the Blair government, both in terms of politics and public policy? What are the likely directions for the future, either under the leadership of Gordon Brown or beyond? The British Politics Group organized a special one-day conference to explore these issues at the Gleacher Center of the University of Chicago Business School prior to the 2007 APSA meeting in Chicago. 

Any questions or queries should be directed to the program organizer, Terrence Casey, Executive Director of the BPG (E-Mail: )




SESSION 1: 0830-1000    
Panel 1A:  The Vision and Reality of Devolution Room 222



  CHAIR/DISC: William Hazleton, Miami University
  Jonathan Bradbury, University of Wales, Swansea "Territorial Politics in the UK after Devolution: Whither Relative Tranquility and the Suspended Revolution?"
  John Coakley, University College, Dublin "Northern Ireland after Blair: The Challenge of Devolution"
  Glen M.E. Duerr, Kent State University "Scottish Secession: Prospects for Independence after Blair?"
  Scott Greer, University of Michigan and Holly Jarman, London School of Economics "Policy Styles and Devolution"

Panel 1B:  The State of the Parties After Blair Room 230


  CHAIR/DISC: James Sloam, Royal Holloway, University of London
  Florence Faucher-King, Vanderbilt University/Sciences-Po "The Party is Over: The 'Modernization' of British Labour"
  Ray Barker, Erie Community College "No Longer the Nasty Party: The Transformation of the Tories under David Cameron"
  Andrew Russell and David Cutts, University of Manchester "After Kennedy and After Blair? The Electoral and Political Health of the Liberal Democrats

Tables and Figures


COFFEE BREAK: 10:00-10:30 South Lounge, Room 220  
SESSION 2: 1030-1200  


Panel 2A:  Delivering Democracy post-Blair: Parties  or Groups?


Room 226  
  CHAIR: John Curtice, University of Strathclyde
  DISC:  James Mitchell, University of Strathclyde


  Justin Fisher, Brunel University and David Denver, Lancaster University "From Foot-Slogging to Call Centres: Traditional and Modern Modes of Constituency Campaigning in Britain 1992-2005"

  Wyn Grant, University of Warwick "The Changing Pathologies of Group Politics in Britain"
  Grant Jordan, University of Aberdeen and William Maloney, University of Newcastle "The Democratic Contribution of Group-Led Mobilization in the UK"

  Paul Whiteley, University of Essex "Are Groups Replacing Parties? A Multi-Level Analysis of the Party-Group Tradeoff in European Democracies"
Panel 2B:  The EU in British Politics and Policy-Making


Room 222  
  CHAIR/DISC: Joel Wolfe, University of Cincinnati 
  Kai Oppermann, University of Cologne "To Defer and Defuse: New Labour's Politics of Containing the Salience of European Integration"
  Scott James, University of Manchester "Taming the Awkward State? Europeanisation and the Changing Face of UK EU Policy Making under Blair"
Panel 2C:  New Labour and Public Policy Room 230


  CHAIR/DISC: Mark Bevir, University of California, Berkeley
  Caroline Kenny, University of Birmingham "Reconciling Social Justice with Economic Effectiveness: The Strategic Role of Education in New Labour's 'Social' Policy"
  Calum Paton, Keele University 'The NHS After Blair: Healthier Than New Labour?'
  Alistair Howard, Temple University "Red Tape Nightmare or Regulatory Model? Business Regulation under Blair and Brown"
LUNCH BREAK: 1200-1330    
SESSION 3: 1330-1500  


Panle 3A:  Blair, Foreign Policy and the Iraq War Room 222


  CHAIR/DISC: Richard Flickinger, Wittenberg University


  Stephen Dyson, University of Connecticut  "What Difference Did He Make? Tony Blair and British Foreign Policy"


  David Coates, Wake Forest University and Joel Krieger, Wellesley College "The Mistake Heard Round the World: A Legacy Spoiled by a Single Mistake?"

Panel 3B:  Blair's Constitutional Revolution Room 226


  CHAIR/DISC: Jerrold Waltman, Baylor University
  James Alt, Harvard University "The Constitutional Revolution of Tony Blair" (PowerPoint)
  Mark Bevir, University of California, Berkeley "New Labour, the Judiciary and the Constitution"
  Richard Maiman, University of Southern Maine "Human Rights After Blair"
  Chris Game, University of Birmingham "Mayors, Monitors and Measurers: Blair's Legacy to Local Democracy"
Panel 3C:  Après moi...': Party Leaders After Blair Room 230


  CHAIR/DISC: Florence Faucher-King, Vanderbilt University/Sciences-Po
  James Mitchell, University of Strathclyde "Gordon Brown and the Road to Number 10" (Please contact the author for a copy of this paper.)
  Jane Green, University of Manchester "Cameron in Context: Conservative Strategy, 1997-2007"
  Arthur Cyr, Carthage College "Liberal Revival, Prospects, and Policies"
COFFEE BREAK: 1500-1530 South Lounge, Room 220  
SESSION 4: 1530-1700  


Panel 4A: The Ideological Legacy of Tony Blair and 'New Labour'


Room 222  
  CHAIR: Donley Studlar, West Virginia University
  John Wilson, University of Salford and Michael Macaulay, University of Teeside


"Britain after Blair: The Ideological Legacy?"

  James Sloam, Royal Holloway, University of London "Blair, the Third Way and European Social Democracy: A New Political Consensus?"
  Nick Randall, University  of Newcastle "Social Democrats in Spite of Themselves? Assessing the Ideological Credentials of New Labour"
Panel 4B:  Anglo-American Relations and the Bush-Blair Axis


Room 230  
  CHAIR/DISC: Tom Wolf, Indiana University Southeast


  Douglas Stuart, Dickinson College "A Bridge Too Far? Can Britain Continue to Play an Intermediary Role Between the United States and Continental Europe?"
  Jeff McCausland, Pennsylvania State Dickinson School of Law "When You Come to a Fork in Road, Take It: British Defense Policy in the 21st Century"
  John Dumbrell, Durham University "Reflections on the US-UK 'Special Relationship'"
RECEPTION: 1730-1900 Midway Bar and Veranda (5th Floor)  


BPG panels on the APSA program:

Panel 1 Roundtable: A Retrospective on the Career of Samuel H.  Beer


Thursday, August 30th, 10:15am

  CHAIR: Donley Studlar, West Virginia University 
  David R. Mayhew, Yale University 
  Michael John Moran, Manchester University
  Samuel H. Beer, Harvard University 
Panel 2:  The British Economy: What Kind of Model? 

Friday, August 31st, 2:00pm


  CHAIR: David Coates, Wake Forest University
  DISC: Wyn Grant, Warwick University
  Terrence Casey, Rose-Hulman Institute of Technology


"Is Britain Still a Liberal Economy?"
  David Coates, Wake Forest University "Is New Labour Working in the UK?"


  James Cronin, Boston College "The Neoliberal Turn: Choice and Structure in the Development of the British Model of Capitalism"
  Chris Howell, Oberlin College "New Labour’s Class Project: Industrial Relations Policy and its Consequences, 1997-2005"
Panel 3:  Year in Review: Britain After Blair

Saturday, September 1st, 10:15am


  CHAIR: Terry Royed, University of Alabama 
  Richard Rose, Univerersity of Aberdeen "Sixty Years in Review: What is Brown's Inheritance?"
  Jon Tonge, Liverpool University "The Legacy of Tony Blair"



American Political Science Association 2007 Annual Conference Website

The British Politics Group Website



Rose-Hulman Institute of Technology

Department of Humanities and

Social Sciences


Roosevelt University

Department of Political Science

and Public Administration

Purdue University

Department of Political Science




Routledge Journals -- Politics and International Relations


British Politics -- A Palgrave Journal

David Coates to launch his new book A Liberal Tool Kit: Progressive Responses to Conservative Arguments*





* This is a paid sponsorship and in no way implies an official endorsement of this text by the British Politics Group.





The British Politics Group -- A Related Group of the American Political Science Association since 1975