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‘Moves on a Chess Board’: A Spatial Model of British Prime Ministers' Powers over Cabinet Formation

Allen, Nicholas and Ward, Hugh (2009) '‘Moves on a Chess Board’: A Spatial Model of British Prime Ministers' Powers over Cabinet Formation.' The British Journal of Politics and International Relations, 11 (2). 238 - 258. ISSN 1369-1481

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Abstract

<jats:p> We use an institutional rational choice approach to help us understand how prime ministers in the UK make cabinet appointments and the implications for prime ministerial power. Assuming that prime ministers attempt to form a cabinet so as to get an overall package of policies as close as possible to their ideal, we show why the trade-offs they face are so complex, why apparently common-sense rules for making appointments might not always work well and why apparently strange choices made by prime ministers might actually be rational. Acknowledging the power prime ministers derive from their ability to appoint, we argue that the literature commonly fails to distinguish between power and luck, where lucky prime ministers get their way because they happen to agree with colleagues. </jats:p>

Item Type: Article
Subjects: J Political Science > JN Political institutions (Europe) > JN101 Great Britain
Divisions: Faculty of Social Sciences > Government, Department of
Depositing User: Jim Jamieson
Date Deposited: 13 Sep 2013 21:45
Last Modified: 29 Oct 2020 15:15
URI: http://repository.essex.ac.uk/id/eprint/7670

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