Sociology-Power and Politics in UK

The state is defined as "a set of social institutions, concerned with passing laws, implementing and administering these laws and providing a legal machinery to enforce compliance with these laws. " The state enjoys a monopoly of legitimate force in a given area and most of the time, laws are upheld. The UK State is made up of the diversity of social institutions. I. e. the PM, Cabernet, Civil Service, Judiciary, Parliament, etc. Britain does not have a written constitution unlike other countries. With no written constitution, changes are easier to make.

Powers of the government are wide, since no written boundary to power exists. E. g. 1972 the government introduced a bill to increase army power in Northern Ireland. This bill was passed in the House of Lords and the House of Commons on that very same day. Powers of the State- The first power which the state has is its ability to make and enforce laws. Some laws are delegated to ministers who bring in law without parliament permission. Laws are enforced by the use of threat of punishment. The second power of the state, is its ability to raise large sums of finance.

In 1985 taxes took 20% of all income received by all people in Britain. Governments differ on how the view taxing. Tories believe taxes should be lower to encourage free choice and enterprise. Where as Labour and the Liberals argue more taxes for better services. The third power of the state is it's a large employer. 1/3 of all workforces is state employed. This figure has reduced due to contracting out and privatization. The fourth power being control over land. The state can compulsorily buy land, regulate use of land, change the use of land, and change the value of land.

E. g. the M40 The fifth power of the state is through economic policy. The state is a major investor and producer of goods and services. It influences decisions such as inflation, exchange rates, interest rates, unemployment etc. the state is a powerful set of independent institutions. It also plays and international role. I. e. the European Union, the International military fund (IMF). The state is also divided internally into national area's (Scotland and Wales) through devolution regional and local. Many recent writers have looks beyond the state and the nation.

The political boundaries have become less significant, especially the most developed regions, which are formed into one inter-linked economy, to create easier trade. E. g. the EU. This allows governments to have less control over information, less tariffs and trade barriers, and more foreign competition. Society has become a global citizen in the global market place, this gives the government less power to regulate and control nation economies. The states role is to produce the conditions in which workers, consumers and companies can thrive in a global economy. However we mustn't forget the nation state and their control of territory.

The British State Sociology-Power and Politics Other supporters of Globalisation and the declining power of the nation state argue the nation has seen decline in economic, political, military, and ideological powers. At the same time some parts of the world have asserted nationalism. E. g. Scotland Looking at the implication of Globalisation, a major impact is governments find it hard to regulate and control their own economies. Power can create fragmentation as diverse cultures are brought together, chance of war and conflicts are on the increase. Critics argue the UN is unsuccessful such as in Bosnia.

Multi nations are country based and are regulated by governments where as Trans- nationals are 'foot loose' and operate on what best suites them. Because of population diversity, identities of these have been lost but the state still has a key role in terms of democratic legitimacy. Globalisation has created worldwide relations linking areas together, a worldwide interaction as technology is improving all the time, interaction becomes more easier and accessible. Richer countries tend to export more therefore governments cant compete with Trans nationals. The state has changed shape and needs closer liaison with other states such as USA.