"The Efficient Secret" is an analysis of the institutional changes in parliamentary government in nineteenth-century England, concentrating on the years between the first and third Reform Acts. Professor Gary W. Cox employs a rational choice model to analyze the problems of voter choice and to examine the emergence of party loyalty in the electorate, the development of cabinet government, and their legislative consequences. The introductory chapters provide the historical setting for this study and briefly survey nineteenth-century political and economic events. Professor Cox then focuses on the increases in party voting in Parliament and in the electorate. To support his argument concerning these parallel developments, he uses statistical evidence drawn from poll books and newspapers.
The fifth edition has been completely restructured and expanded in order to provide the definitive introduction to British Politics. There are 16 new chapters. The book focuses on the international context in which Britain operates and addresses institutions, processes, new issues and policies. The book incorporates student learning features and has a companion web site.