Orderly Britain

Orderly Britain

How Britain has resolved everyday problems, from dog fouling to double parking

Tim Newburn, Andrew Ward


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How do British pavements remain free of dog mess? Why are paths not littered with cigarette butts or roads not lined with abandoned cars? What does the decline of the public lavatory say about us and is the national reputation for queuing still deserved today?

Orderly Britain takes a topical look at modern society, examining how it is governed and how it organises itself. It considers the rules of daily life, where they come from and why they exist. It asks whether citizens are generally compliant and uncomplaining or rebellious and defiant. This quirky social history takes a close look at shifting customs and practices, people's expectations of each other and how rule-makers seek to shape everyone's lives - even when ignoring some of those rules themselves.

Taking the reader on a journey that covers a range of topics - dog mess, smoking, drinking, parking, queuing, toilets - Orderly Britain examines the rapidly changing patterns of everyday life, from post-war to present day, and concludes with an extended look at the unparalleled shifts in social routines that resulted from the global COVID-19 pandemic. Asking whether it is the proliferation of rules and regulations in the UK or something else that keeps people in line, authors Tim Newburn and Andrew Ward offer a unique insight into what creates orderly Britons.


Tim Newburn:
TIM NEWBURN is Professor of Criminology and Social Policy at the London School of Economics. He is the author, co-author and editor of over forty books on topics covering youth crime, riots, policing and society, including Criminology and Policing. His writing has been published in The Times, Guardian, Independent and New Statesman, he has been interviewed on TV for Newsnight and Panorama and has featured on Radio 4's Woman's Hour and Moral Maze, among many others. He lives and works in London.|||ANDREW WARD was a freelance writer who has thirty books to his name. He worked as a statistician and researcher in commerce, industry and higher education. He died in 2022.