Loading Events

« All Events

  • This event has passed.

Politics: insight4me Politics – UK vs US Politics With Goldsmiths, University of London & University of East Anglia

17th March 2022 @ 15:35 - 16:35




  • Goldsmiths, University of London: Dr Paul Gunn is a Lecturer in Politics in the Department of Politics and International Relations. Of all the differences between American and British politics, perhaps the most important concerns the expectations of their various electorates. The roots of this difference lie in the first three decades of the twentieth century. Where successive British governments resisted demands for social reform, these demands led in the United States, to a new, democratic interpretation of the constitution, and a correspondingly activist role for the president. These developments, I argue, created a new political order in the US, in which mobilising the support of the people is more important than deliberating the complexities of public policy. Hence, the president is treated as a heroic (or demonic) figure in a way that prime ministers are not—or, at least, in a way that they didn’t used to be. For the consequences of America’s uniquely activist office of the president, I argue, are that, first, politics is transformed into a conspiratorial hunt for the villains who stand in the people’s way; and second, that this rhetorical transformation has tended to reshape politics even in places that lack America’s unique institutions and history. There is no better example of this, I suggest, than the UK.


  • University of East Anglia: Dr Michael Frazer, Associate Professor in Political and Social Theory in the School of Politics, Philosophy, Language and Communication Studies will discuss The US Constitution as a Sacred Text. One famous difference between the political systems in the US and the UK is that the US has a written constitution while the UK lacks one. While many other countries also have written constitutions, they generally do not play the central cultural role that the constitution plays in American life. Key to understanding American politics is understanding that the constitution is no mere legal document, but rather a sacred text, more akin to the scriptures of traditional religions than to the constitutions of other modern states. Many Americans literally believe the constitution to be divinely inspired; even those who do not literally believe this often act as if they did. Political debates in the United States generally takes the form about the proper interpretation of the constitution and the values implicit in it. In this respect, the American form of government might be better understood by analogy with the Iranian regime than to the British one. While containing some democratic representation, both the American and Iranian governments also grant tremendous power to non-elected officials who claim expertise in the authoritative interpretation of sacred texts.


insight4me is a series of subject specific webinars for Year 12 & 13 students, and equivalent. The sessions directly support students’ current studies by giving an insight into particular curriculum areas whilst affording an understanding of how these subjects continue beyond A-levels, T-levels, IB, BTEC and equivalent qualifications and vary between universities.

In this insight4me Politics online event for schools and colleges, Goldsmiths, University of London and University of East Anglia will each have roughly 30 minutes to deliver a punchy, topic based ‘micro’ talk. Within an overall session theme of UK vs US Politics, the universities have the freedom to choose their own focus and use the time to convey the key points of the case studies for the students.



Our events are designed so that a group of students can take part from a classroom or students and teachers can take part as individuals, either from school or from home. This means that sessions will continue irrespective of possible school closures.

As a live, participative event, this session will not be recorded but slides and other resources will be shared after the event, where available.


Suitable for: Year 12 & 13 students (and equivalent) studying, or with a possible interest in studying, Politics and related disciplines.

Preparation/Pre-Reading: Students may wish to consider the 2 topics and discuss some of the key elements in advance. Students can also think about questions they have about studying Politics at university level.

The IT Setup: The event will be run on Bluejeans (similar to Zoom) and participants will be able to join using laptops, tablets, and mobile devices. If you are joining as a school group, we recommend connecting with one device and projecting on to a whiteboard. You will be able to interact with the university via a microphone and/or typed comments and questions. Full details will be sent to those who have registered (see below) prior to the event.

Booking a Place: This is free for schools and colleges. If you would like to take part in this event, please register your interest using the link to the registration form below:



17th March 2022
15:35 - 16:35
Event Categories: