Specifications that use this resource:

Resource list

This is a list of resources that will be useful for our new A-level Politics specification 7152.

Students should also try to stay informed by reading relevant newspaper articles and journals, as well as using the bibliographies in the suggested textbooks for guidance on further reading.

General resources

These resources are relevant to the entire specification.

  • Politics Review – published by Philip Allan Updates four times in each annual volume (September, November, January and April) is the most widely used journal for students of AS and A-level Politics. It contains a wealth of relevant articles, factual summaries and examination guidance and is available as a competitively-priced student subscription.
  • Talking Politics – articles can be found in old issues, published by the Politics Association three times in each annual volume between 1989 and 2007 and may provide useful stimulus material for students or opportunities for extended background reading.
  • Economist – many useful articles can be found in more mainstream publications, such as The Economist.
  • UK Government and Politics Annual Survey – Paul Fairclough, Richard Kelly and E Magee’s 80-page survey, published each January, provides a comprehensive overview of the main developments in UK government and politics during the preceding year.
  • Politics PAL – the long-running A5-format annual UK political update provides a different taken on the year’s major developments and debates.

Paper 1


These resources are relevant to the whole of Paper 1.

  • Lynch P, Fairclough P, Cooper T, UK Government and Politics for AS/A-level (2017)
  • Kingdom J, Government and Politics in Britain (4th revised edition) (Polity Press 2014)
  • Heywood A, Essentials of UK Politics (2nd edition) (Palgrave Macmillan)
  • Cocker P, Jones A, Essential Topics in British Politics and Government (Liverpool Academic Press, 2005
  • Wilson C, Understanding AS Government and Politics (Manchester University Press, 2003)

The nature and sources of the British Constitution

  • Jowell J. Oliver D The changing Constitution (Oxford University Press, 2004)
  • Blackburn R and Plant R (eds), Constitutional Reform: the Labour Agenda (Longman, 1999)
  • Seldon (ed), The Blair Effect: The Labour Government 1997-2001 (Little Brown, 2001) – contains an interesting chapter by V Bogdanor on the constitutional changes made in Labour’s first term
  • Forman F N, Constitutional Change in the United Kingdom (Routledge, 2002) – provides a comprehensive account up to the time of writing covering not only constitutional changes in the narrower sense, but also rights, the judiciary, devolution, Europe, Parliament and local and central government
  • Dunleavy P et al, Developments in British Politics 7 (Palgrave, 2003) – contains a useful chapter ‘remaking the constitution’, by A Gamble and in ‘Developments in British Politics 8’, Flinders updates the situation looking at developments over a longer term
  • The work of the Constitution Unitat University College London (UCL)
  • Blackburn R. Ryle M in Blackburn R. Plant R (eds), Constitutional Reform (Longman, 1999)
  • Moxon K, Constitutional Reform: unfinished business? (Politics Review Vol 23 , 2013-14, No.3, Feb)
  • House of Commons’ Political and Constitutional Reform Committee report: The UK Constitution: A summary, with options for reform
  • Norton P, ‘Coalition Government: a new era of constitutional reform? (Politics Review Vol.21 , 2011-12, No.2, Nov.)
  • ‘The Tories must make the case for a Bill of Rights’The Telegraph, May 2015
  • Starmer K, ‘The Conservatives must accept the Human Rights Act, and move on’The Guardian, May 2016
  • Timeline of campaigns by campaign group, Liberty


The Prime Minister and cabinet

  • Greenwood J. Pyper R. Wilson D, New Public Administration in Britain (Routledge, 2002) – contains useful chapters on Whitehall, the core executive, ministers and civil servants, local government and multi-level governance.
  • Dorey P, Policy Making in Britain: an Introduction (Sage, 2005)
  • Smith M, The Core Executive in Britain (Macmillan, 1999) – remains a key authority, although somewhat dated
  • Hennessy P, The Prime Minister: the Office and its Holders since 1945 – an authoritative but mainly historical approach
  • Foley M, The British Presidency (Manchester University Press, 2000) – discusses whether British prime ministers have become increasingly presidential
  • Thomas G, ‘Has Prime Minister Major been replaced by President Blair ?
  • Rose R, The Prime Minister in a Shrinking World (Polity, 2001)
  • Burch M and Holliday I, The British Cabinet System (Harvester Wheatsheaf, 1996)
  • James S, British Cabinet Government (Routledge,1999)
  • Lee J M. Jones G W. Burnham J, At the Centre of Whitehall: Advising the Prime Minister (Macmillan, 1998)
  • Burch M. Holliday I, The Prime Minister’s and Cabinet Offices; an executive office in all but name Parliamentary Affairs (52.1, 1999) – examines Blair’s reforms
  • Kavanagh D. Seldon A, The Powers behind the Prime Minister (Harper Collins, 1999) – looks at the work and organisation of No 10 under Blair.
  • Brady C. Catterall T, ‘Inside the Engine Room: assessing cabinet committees’ Talking Politics (12.3, 2000) – cabinet committees discussed in an accessible form
  • The Cabinet Office website
  • James S, British Cabinet Government (Routledge, 1999)
  • Brazier R, Ministers of the Crown (Clarendon Press, 1997)
  • Norton P, ‘Barons in a Shrinking Kindom: Senior Ministers in British Government’ in Rhodes R A W (ed) Transforming British Government , vol. 2 (macmillan, 2000)
  • Smith M J, The Core Executive in Britain (Longman, 1999) – also discusses the relationship models and contains excellent analysis of ministerial and civil service policy making roles
  • Hennessy P, Whitehall (Fontana, 1990)
  • McNaughton N. Magee E, ‘Cameron as Prime Minister: a verdict’ (Politics Review, Vol.26, 2016-17, No.4, Apr)
  • Heffernan R, ‘Gordon Brown: a failed Prime Minister?’ (Politics Review, Vol.20 , 2010-11, No.1, Sept )
  • Richards I, ‘Is cabinet government back? (Politics Review, Vol.21 , 2011-12, No.4, Apr)
  • Smith M, ‘Do ministers matter?’ (Politics Review, Vol.20 , 2010-11, No.3, Feb)
  • Collective cabinet responsibility in the EU referendum by Dr Catherine Haddon, Institute for Government, Jan 2016
  • Westminster Hall debate on collective responsibility in the coalition
  • Bennister M, ‘The cabinet: is there still collective cabinet responsibility?’ (Politics Review, Vol.26, 2016-17, No.4, Apr)
  • ‘Ministerial Responsibility after Huhne’ by Dr Mike Gordon at UK Constitutional Law Association
  • Heffernan R, ‘Prime Ministerial power: has it changed since 1997?’ (Politics Review, Vol.23 , 2013-14, No.2, Nov)

The judiciary


  • Bogdanor V, Devolution in the United Kingdom (Oxford University Press, 2001)
  • Deacon R, Griffiths and Lynch P, Devolved Great Britain: the New Governance of England, Scotland and Wales (Sheffield Hallam University Press, 2002)
  • Dorey P, ‘The West Lothian Question’ in Talking Politics (September 2002)
  • Bogdanor V, ‘Asymmetric Devolution: Towards a Quasi-Federal Constitution?’ in Developments in British Politics 7
  • Wilson D and Game C, Local Government in the United Kingdom (Palgrave 4th edition, 2006) – is both authoritative and accessible, covering all aspects of local government contained in the specification and more
  • Stevens, Politico’s guide to Local Government (Politico’s, 2006)
  • The Local Government Association website
  • Bogdanor V, ‘Sovereignty and Devolution: quasi-federalism? (Politics Review, Vol.19, 2009-10, No.3, Feb)
  • BBC’s Q&A: The West Lothian Question
  • BBC’s English votes for English laws explained

Democracy and participation

  • Pattie C. Seyd P. Whiteley, Citizenship in Britain: Values, Participation and Democracy (Cambridge University Press, 2004)
  • Whitehead P, ‘Democracy and participation: is there a participation crisis in the UK?’ (Politics Review, Vol.19 , 2009-10, No.1, Sept)
  • Voting systems at the Electoral Reform Society
  • Kelly R, ‘Assessing the UK’s electoral systems: First-past-the-post revalidated?’ (Politics Review, Vol.25 , 2015-16, No.1, Sept)
  • Johnston R, ‘Which electoral systems are best for Westminster?’ (Politics Review, Vol.21 , 2011-12, No.2, Nov)

Elections and referendums

Political parties

Pressure groups

  • Smith N, UK Parties and Pressure Groups Advanced TopicMaster ( Philip Allan Updates, 2006)
  • Grant W, Pressure Groups and British Politics (Palgrave, 2001)
  • Baggott R, Pressure Groups and British Politics (Palgrave Macmillan, 2000)
  • Jordan G. Maloney W, Interest Groups and Democracy (Palgrave, 2007)
  • Jordan G, ‘Pressure groups: identifying the target for study’ (Politics Review, Vol.18 , 2008-09, No.1, Sept)
  • Fairclough P, ‘Pressure groups: a new age of protest? (Politics Review, Vol.21 , 2011-12, No.1, Sept)
  • Heffernan R, ‘Pressure groups: do promotional groups strengthen democracy?’ (Politics Review, Vol.22 , 2012-13, No.1, Sept)
  • Fairclough P, ‘Pressure groups: what makes them successful?’ (Politics Review, Vol.23 , 2013-14, No.1, Sept)
  • Articles on lobbying in The Guardian

The European Union

  • Nugent N, The Government and Politics of the European Union (Palgrave Macmillan, 2006) – although this wider in terms of both scope and detail than the specification
  • Geddes A, The European Union and British Politics (Palgrave Macmillan, 2004) – more accessible for AS students
  • Jones A, Glossary of the European Union (Edinburgh University Press, 2008) – likely to provide valuable information and clarification
  • Jones A, Britain and the European Union (Edinburgh University Press, 2007) – contains useful information on all of the key areas in the specification: the power and composition of the main EU institutions, the influence of the EU on the Westminster Parliament and the issue of ‘democratic deficit’
  • Whitaker R, ‘The European Parliament: does it matter?’ Politics Review, Vol.23 , 2013-14, No.3, Feb)
  • Europa.EU profiles of EU institutions
  • ‘Can Europe be saved?’,The Economist, March 2017
  • UCL Constitution Unit ‘The UK and Europe’

Paper 2


These resources are relevant to the whole of Paper 2.

  • Bennett A, US Government and Politics 5th Edition (2017)
  • Bennett A, A2 US Government and Politics
  • McKay D, (2017: 9th Edition) American Politics and Society

The constitutional framework of US government

  • Taylor J, US politics: A beginner’s guide to studying US politicsPolitics Review 26, 1, extra resources archive (September 2016)
  • Lemieux S, US politics: Ten things you need to knowPolitics Review 24, 4, extra resources archive (April 2015) – an article offering essential insights into the sometimes puzzling word of US politics
  • Hammal R, Revision: The US ConstitutionPolitics Review 23, 4, extra resources archive (April 2014)
  • Singh R, The US Constitution: does it ensure limited government?Politics Review 23, 3 (February 2014)
  • Colclough A, The US Constitution: a protection against the growth of the security state?Politics Review 25, 3 (February 2016)

The legislative branch of government: Congress

  • Lemieux S,Colourful characters in CongressPolitics Review 24, 2, extra resources archive (November 2014)
  • Bennett A, Is Congress overly dysfunctional and partisan? Politics Review 26, 1 (September 2016)
  • Hammal R. Baker A, Is Congress the ‘broken branch?’Politics Review 23, 4 (April 2014)

The executive branch of government: President

  • Lemieux S. Maggs R, Is the US federal government too powerful?Politics Review 25, 4 (April 2016)
  • Taylor J, What can we expect from President Trump?Politics Review 26, 3, extra resources archive (February 2017)
  • Kilheeney E, What is post-truth politics?Politics Review (October 2016) e-review: – considering why lying is a key tool of today’s politicians and looking at the overturning of Obama’s veto in Congress
  • Whiskerd N, The modern President: transformational leader or facilitator? Politics Review 23, 4 (April 2014)
  • Axelby A,US politics: The role of the vice president Politics Review 23, 4 extra resources archive (April 2014)
  • Ashbee E, Obama’s second term: success or failure?Politics Review 26, 4 (April 2017)
  • Bennett A, The US Presidency: are second-term Presidents lame ducks?Politics Review 25, 4 (April 2016)
  • Ivey K, President ObamaPolitics Review 24, 2, extra resources archive (November 2014)
  • Ivey K, President ObamaPolitics Review 24, 2, extra resources archive (November 2014)
  • Lemieux S. Tarrants R, Is Obama too cautious a president? Politics Review 24, 2 (November 2014)
  • Simpson J,US politics: An assessment of Obama's first termPolitics Review 22, 4, extra resources archive (April 2013)
  • Bennett A, Obama’s first term: promise unfulfilled? Politics Review 22, 4 (April 2013)

The judicial branch of government

  • Kilheeney E, Death of a Supreme Court justicePolitics Review (March 2016 e-review) – considering what the death of Justice Antonin Scalia means for the US Supreme Court and for Obama
  • Singh R, The Supreme Court: a political, not judicial, institution?Politics Review 24, 3 (February 2015)
  • Lemieux S, US politics: The US Supreme Court — bastion of conservatism or beacon of liberalism?Politics Review 23, 2 (November 2013 extra resources archive)
  • Singh R, The US Supreme Court: an effective protector of civil rights and liberties? Politics Review 26, 2 (November 2016)
  • Billingsley, K. Bennett, A, Does the US Supreme Court have too much power?Politics Review 22, 4 (April 2013)

The electoral process and direct democracy

  • Lemieux S,US politics: Campaign finance in the USA and the First AmendmentPolitics Review 24, 1, extra resources archive (September 2014)
  • Kilheeney E, 2016 US election resultsPolitics Review 26, 4, extra resources archive (April 2017)
  • Hammal R, US politics: Filibuster or filibluster?Politics Review 23, 4, extra resources archive (April 2014)
  • Shapiro K, Gerrymandering in the USAPolitics Review 24, 3 (February 2015)
  • Shapiro K, Split ticket voting Politics Review 23, 4 (April 2014)
  • Rathbone M, Recess appointmentsPolitics Review 26, 1 (September 2016)
  • Ashbee E, The 2014 mid-term elections: How significant are they?Politics Review 24, 4 (April 2015)
  • Fearnley A, Ballot measures in the USA: good or bad for democracy? Politics Review 24, 1 (September 2014)
  • Lemieux S, US politics: Campaign Finance in the USA and the First Amendment Politics Review 24, 1, extra resources archive (September 2014)
  • Fearnley A, Ballot measures in the USA: good or bad for democracy?Politics Review 24, 1 (September 2014)
  • Ivey K, US politics: Turnout in US electionsPolitics Review 23, 3, extra resources archive (February 2014)

Political parties

Paper 3


These resources are relevant to the whole of Paper 3.

  • Kelly R. and McNaughton N, Political Ideas for A-level (2017)
  • A Heywood, Political Ideologies (Palgrave, 2012)
  • Freeden M, The Oxford Handbook of Political Ideologies (Oxford University Press)
  • D Woodley, A2 Political Ideologies: Exam Revision Notes (2nd edition) (Philip Allan, 2009)
  • Grant M. and Magee E, A2 Political Ideologies (Topic Cue Cards) (Philip Allan, 2007)
  • Bloor K, The Definitive Guide to Political Ideologies (Author House, 2010)

More thorough analysis can be found in a number of well-established crossover A-level/undergraduate texts such as:

  • B Coxall. L Robins. and R Leach, Contemporary British Politics (Palgrave Macmillan, 2003)
  • P Cocker. A Jones, Contemporary British Politics and Government (Liverpool Academic, 2002)
  • D Watts, British Government and Politics: A Comparative Guide (Edinburgh University Press, 2006)
  • D Butler. G Butler, British Political Facts since 1979 (Palgrave Macmillan, 2006)



Woodley D. and Magee E, Conservatism (Advanced Topic Masters) (Philip Allan, 2006)







Specifications that use this resource: