© 2003

Drink and British Politics since 1830

A Study in Policy-Making


Table of contents

  1. Front Matter
    Pages i-xii
  2. John Greenaway
    Pages 1-6
  3. John Greenaway
    Pages 114-129
  4. John Greenaway
    Pages 130-149
  5. Back Matter
    Pages 213-271

About this book


The issue of alcohol has never been far from British politics. Initially, governments needed to control its sale for public order reasons and because it was a major source of revenue. Then in Victorian times a powerful temperance movement arose which sought to prohibit or severely curb the 'Demon Drink'. This in turn aroused the hostility of the 'Trade' and the issue became one of fierce electoral politics. After 1890 drink was interpreted more as a social reform question and then in the First World War, after a major moral panic, far-reaching measures of direct state control were imposed in the interests of national efficiency. Later in the Twentieth century alcohol use came to be seen as an aspect of leisure and town planning and, more recently, as a health issue. Drawing upon a wide range of primary sources, John Greenaway uses the complex politics of the issue to shed light upon the changing political system and to test various theories of the policymaking process. Both historians and political scientists will be interested in this study.


20th century aspect Britain Case Studies drawing fragment Great Britain health planning policy politics reform settlement twentieth century Victorian era

Authors and affiliations

  1. 1.School of Economic and Social StudiesThe University of East AngliaUK

About the authors

Dr. JOHN GREENAWAY has been Senior Lecturer in Politics at the University of East Anglia since 1975. He has co-authored The Dynamics of Administrative Reform and Deciding Factors in British Politics, and has written numerous articles on the British civil service and on policy making.

Bibliographic information


'This important study is about 'the high politics of social policy-making' as they concerned the sale and consumption of alcohol between 1830 and 1970 and makes a valuable contribution to our understanding of the issue...By covering such a long period the author shows how 'modern' attitudes have developed, waxed and waned...' - Contemporary Review

'Greenaway must be commended for producing a highly readable analysis...this a well researched book offering new insights into an important area which has been overlooked for too long.' - Tim Holt, The Journal of the Brewery History Society