British Government

There are many reasons to study the British system of government.  First, it is one of the world’s oldest stable democracies.  But for Americans it is especially intriguing because there are so many similarities to our own system, and yet there are some significant differences.  It is, in truth, therefore, an important mirror with which to view ourselves, so long as we keep the differences in mind.

Through lectures by a number of experts and field trips to important sites—for example, to Parliament, the Supreme Court, and a number of others—you will have a chance to examine many facets of how the British govern themselves.  Thus, you will not only learn a great deal about British politics from books and articles and lectures but will also have a chance to observe what goes on first-hand.  Further, you will have an unparalleled opportunity to reflect on how their system compares to our own.  For our London Away experience, we will travel to Edinburgh, the capital of Scotland.

Some of the topics to be covered include the “unwritten Constitution,” the Prime Minister, Parliament, the courts, political parties, the press and politics, religion and politics, “devolution,” and public policies “on the ground.”

Course details

  • PS 499CA or 599CA/799CA (6 semester hours)
  • LondonAWAY! experience: Edinburgh for 3 nights
  • Prerequisite: Consent of Instructor

Meet the Instructor

Jerry Waltman











Dr. Jerry Waltman
Baylor University

Dr. Jerry Waltman taught political science at the University of Southern Mississippi for 25 years; in 15 of those he participated in the British Studies Program.  He currently holds an endowed professorship in political science at Baylor University, where he teaches British politics and comparative public law.  He received his Ph.D. from Indiana University, and is the author of eight books and numerous articles in academic journals on both British and American politics.  In addition to his years spent on the British Studies Program, he has traveled and taught in the UK on many occasions.

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