Prime Minister and Cabinet Government  book cover
3rd Edition

Prime Minister and Cabinet Government

ISBN 9781138545953
Published May 12, 2020 by Routledge
366 Pages

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Book Description

Fully revised and updated, this new edition of Simon James’s comprehensible and accessible text provides an excellent insight into the work of the Prime Minister and Cabinet government. It draws on the wealth of new material that has become available in recent years to shed light on the mechanisms and processes of the Cabinet system in Britain, focusing on the post-1979 period. Its coverage includes:

  • ministers and their departments;
  • collective decision-making;
  • the role of the Prime Minister;
  • the strengths and weaknesses of the Cabinet system; and
  • the future of the Cabinet system.

Prime Minister and Cabinet Government will give both A-level students and undergraduates a clear understanding of the realities of this central aspect of British politics.

Table of Contents

1. Describing the Cabinet System

2. Ministers and their Departments

3. Collective Decision-making: Cabinet committees and the Cabinet

4. The Role of the Prime Minister

5. The Dynamics of Collective Decision-making

6. The Impact of Coalition and Minority Governments

7. Problems of the Cabinet System

8. Advice at the Centre

9. Conclusion

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Simon James worked formerly in the Cabinet Secretariat and for the past 20 years has advised countries overseas on their Cabinet systems and central policy-making systems. He is a Visiting Research Fellow in the Department of Political Economy of King’s College London.


"Readers of the previous two editions of this definitive work will be delighted to see a much-welcome update is now available. Newcomers will find it an accessible and comprehensive account of central government in the UK. It fills what is a surprising gap in the field."

Andrew Blick, Director of the Centre for British Politics and Government, King's College London, UK

"Readable, wide-ranging and authoritative, this book offers a fascinating account of the role of the Cabinet system in contemporary Britain. Drawing on deep scholarship and wide personal experience, it is essential reading for anyone wishing to understand the governance of the country today."

Paul Webb, Professor of Politics, University of Sussex, UK