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1 How arguments are used in the Social Sciences

The audio programme used in this unit addresses the issue of how arguments are constructed and used in the social sciences. It uses extracts from a radio programme (originally broadcast on BBC Radio 4 in January 1997) in which the social consequences of welfare provision are discussed from different viewpoints. The programme is organised to allow you to trace how arguments are being put together, assess what sort of assumptions are being made, and examine how forms of evidence are being used
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8 Governance beyond the UK: The EU

One of the elements invoked in favour of regional devolution involves the significance of regions within the European Union. While some refer to the principle of subsidiarity (governing, when possible, at the local level), as promoted by the EU, as an argument in favour of devolution, others emphasize that regional government improves the prospect of receiving EU regional subsidies. At the moment, there are striking differences between regions within Europe. While some regions have an economi
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7.3 Summary of Section 7

  • The historian Linda Colley locates the birth of ‘Britain’ after 1707. She mentions three main factors that contributed to establishing the British nation: war, religion and the prospect of material advantage.

  • The creation of the UK was not free from conflict, resistance, war and military intervention.

  • The British Empire generated a unique opportunity for most UK nations to participate and enjoy some of the benefits
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7.2 On Britishness

Earlier in this unit I considered how Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland came to be included in the UK. That incorporation was often not free from conflict, resistance, war and military intervention. Hence, as well as cooperation and a common fellowship, suspicion, lack of trust, sometimes hatred, expressed in various forms, have characterised the relationship between England, the leading power, and those nations which were annexed or conquered by it or amalgamated with it.

Modern nat
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7.1 History

So far, I have provided a brief historical background for England, Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland, one that accounts for their distinctive identities and for the origins of their differing role within the UK. I have also defined devolution as an asymmetric decentralisation process which responds to the claims advanced by the nations constituting the UK state. What, then, do we mean by Britain? Is it a nation? If so, when did the British nation begin to exist? The historian Linda Colley
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6.4 Summary of Section 6

  • The Labour government introduced a Greater London Authority (Referendum) Bill in 1997. The referendum took place in 1998. A Mayor and Assembly for London were first elected in 2000.

  • At present the eight English regions have a tripartite structure with responsibilities and powers divided in each region between the Government Office for the region (GO), the Regional Development Agency (RDA) and the Regional Chamber (most of which have now ren
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6.3 What is the main requirement for regional government? Is it a shared identity?

If we compare the UK with other Western democracies such as Spain, Italy or Germany – all endowed with decentralised structures allowing various degrees of political autonomy for their regions – we discover that strong regional identity, as in Catalonia, the Veneto and Bavaria, is always a very important feature. However, some newly created regions such as La Rioja and Madrid in Spain also exercise devolved powers. What unites them is a common interest; the belief that regional government
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6.2 English regions

At present, regional government in England is divided between local government and central government agencies. Eight English regions have a tripartite structure with responsibilities and powers divided in each region between the Government Office for the region (GO), the Regional Development Agency (RDA) and the Regional Chamber (most of which have now renamed themselves Regional Assemblies).

The Labour government established Regional Development Agencies (RDAs) in April 1999. The role
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6.1 London

London's population and economic size are those of a region. As such it contains various peripheries within itself. Further to this, there are some issues, mainly economic planning and transport, which are closely connected with the rest of south-east England. The Labour government introduced a Greater London Authority (Referendum) Bill in October 1997 and organised a referendum on 7 May 1998 in which 72 per cent voted (on a low turn-out of 33.5 per cent) in favour of establishing a Mayor and
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5.6 Summary of Section 5

  • In 1997, the newly elected Labour government set in motion the asymmetric decentralisation of the UK by granting differing degrees of political autonomy to Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland.

  • In 1997 referendums on devolution where held in Scotland and Wales. Their affirmative outcome in favour of devolution cannot of itself deliver constitutional entrenchment, but might reinforce its moral and political legitimacy.

  • <
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5.5 Devolution in outline

Through devolution, Westminster has devolved the following functions to the Scottish Parliament, the National Assembly for Wales and (once it is finally up and running) the Northern Ireland Assembly (Hazell, 2000, p. 4).

SAQ 3

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5.4 Devolution in Northern Ireland: a particular case

Devolution in Northern Ireland has been an integral part of the post-1994 peace process, which aims to share power between the two divergent communities, the Unionist-Protestant majority and the Republican-Catholic minority. All-party talks, chaired by the former US Senator George Mitchell, followed the 1997 renewal of the IRA ceasefire. The decommissioning of arms by the IRA was made into a condition to be met during the talks, but no specific date for its accomplishment was ever given. This
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5.3 How devolution in Scotland differs from devolution in Wales

Devolution for Wales, rejected by the Welsh in a 1979 referendum, was also part of the constitutional reform package of the Labour government. However, in September 1997, the Welsh voted for the establishment of a National Assembly for Wales. The referendum result in favour was far narrower than in Scotland. On a 50.3 per cent turn-out in Wales, only 50.6 per cent voted in favour, indicating a far less entrenched sense of political identity and difference from the rest of the UK on the part o
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5.2 Devolution in Scotland

Scotland has endured a long and complicated process towards self-determination. In a 1979 referendum, the Scots voted in favour of the Labour government proposals to establish a Scottish Parliament, but, thanks to a special majority provision requiring at least 40 per cent of the registered electorate to vote in favour, devolution was rejected when only 32.9 per cent of the electorate voted in favour in the referendum.


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5.1 The UK model of devolution

In its programme of devolution, the Labour government had to decide whether to adopt a symmetric decentralisation model, which would confer an equal degree of devolution to the UK's constituent nations, or to implement an asymmetric decentralisation model, which would grant differing degrees of autonomy to Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland. They opted for the second model in an attempt to respond to different claims about self-determination and to react to different degrees o
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9 Notes to help you complete your assessment

To complete your assessment portfolio include a contents page to show what evidence you have included for each part. An example of a suitable format for the contents page is shown in Figure 1 above.

Figure 1 (PDF, 1 page, 0.1MB)

Although the requirements of Parts A and B are listed separately you should think of them as parts of a whole in which each part relates to the others. Parts A and B
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Songs for Kids - I'm Thankful
This kids song is fun and good Thanksgiving music for children, babies, toddlers, kids, and infants in preschool, homeschool, or kindergarten. Sing-a-long with Tayla from Tea Time with Tayla and remember all the things you are thankful for!  (1:53)
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What the Ancients Did For Us - The Greeks 1/7
There have been several civiliizations and societies that have lived before us. Today, we enjoy the the discoveries and inventions of those that lived before us. This documentary is suitable for middle and high school grades.
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