The focus of the book is a discussion of the adversary basis of party politics in Britain and its inimical impact on viable land policies since the Second World War. Particular emphasis is placed on the scope for, and basis of policy initiation by Conservative and Labour governments in the face of the cumulative social, economic, bureaucratic and political constraints which impinge on the policy-making process. Dr Cox argues that these constraints leave only a relatively limited room for manoeuvres by governments and that most of the post-war policies of Conservative and Labour governments have been initiated in ignorance of these constraints. As a consequence, post-war policies have failed in implementation either by generating property speculation or by hindering urban development.
Preface; Part I. Introduction: 1. Power, adversary politics, government policy-making and the implementation problem; Part II. The Problem of Land and Property in Britain and the Effective Limits on Government Policy Initiation: 2. The history of land and property policy in Britain and the development of social democratic solutions (1845–1945); 3. The structure of the British land and property market as constraint on policy initiation; Part III. The History of Adversarial Policy Failure in Land and Property in Post-war Britain: 4. Labour, the 1947 system and the collapse of the development market (1945–1951); 5. The Conservative free market approach and the 1950s property boom (1951–1964); 6. Labour, the Land Commission and the problems of implementation (1964–1970); 7. The second failure of the Conservative free market approach and the 1970s property boom (1970–1974); 8. Labour and the failure of the Community Land Act (1974–1979); Part IV. Conclusion: 9. The failure of adversarial policies and the enigma of the Thatcher government; Notes; Index.