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Core Executive in Britain
     

Core Executive in Britain

by Martin J. Smith
 

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The analysis of British central government has often focused on the style of the prime minister and a number of simple questions: has prime ministerial government replaced cabinet government? Do officials dominate ministers? This book rejects these questions by suggesting that the core executive cannot be analyzed in terms of domination or command. Instead the book

Overview

The analysis of British central government has often focused on the style of the prime minister and a number of simple questions: has prime ministerial government replaced cabinet government? Do officials dominate ministers? This book rejects these questions by suggesting that the core executive cannot be analyzed in terms of domination or command. Instead the book suggests that resources are widely dispersed within the central state and, as no actor or institution has a monopoly, to achieve goals resources have to be exchanged. The book uses the notion of resource dependency to examine the complexity of relationships within the British core executive and examines how the structure of resources has been altered by reform and the impact of external constraints.

Editorial Reviews

Booknews
Examines the power relationships of the Executive branch of the British government. The author argues that current understandings of power are too simplistic. Instead of viewing one actor or set of actors as owning power, he argues, power should be seen as a complex resource that is exchanged among all actors. He contends that this approach is also important in exploring the historical interplay between changing institutional structures and governmental actors, an interplay that creates relationships characterized by dependence instead of dominance. Annotation c. Book News, Inc., Portland, OR (booknew.com)

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780333605158
Publisher:
Trans-Atlantic Publications, Incorporated
Publication date:
06/01/1999

What People are Saying About This

From the Publisher
'Smith takes the present-day analysis of the British executive out of the academic journals and makes it accessible to a larger audience for the first time. I expect the book to change the way in which we discuss the power of the British executive. Gone forever are the hoary old clichés of prime ministerial power, replaced by a recognition that power is everywhere and understood through the language of dependence, networks, governance and choice.' - R.A.W. Rhodes

Meet the Author

MARTIN J. SMITH is Senior Lecturer in Politics, University of Sheffield. His previous publications include Contemporary British Conservatism (Macmillan, 1996).

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