1995 0-7734-8980-0 This volume of twelve original essays explores the strengths of British institutions at local, national and informal levels. A particular feature of the volume is the stress upon how formal and informal agencies of governing reinforced one another and were linked to the world of popular politics through networks of communication. Four essays assess aspects of local institutions, examining their efficiency and utility over a period of more than a century. A second section pays particular attention to the British Parliament. A theme running through the essays is the central importance of government and institutions as a social cement in modern British society.