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Network Governance and the Differentiated PolitySelected Essays, Volume I$
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R. A. W. Rhodes

Print publication date: 2017

Print ISBN-13: 9780198786108

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: August 2017

DOI: 10.1093/oso/9780198786108.001.0001

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From Prime Ministerial Power to Core Executive

From Prime Ministerial Power to Core Executive

(p.137) 9 From Prime Ministerial Power to Core Executive
Network Governance and the Differentiated Polity

R. A. W. Rhodes

Oxford University Press

The core executive is a new concept replacing the conventional debate about the power of the prime minister and the Cabinet. It refers to all those organizations and procedures that coordinate central government policies, and act as final arbiters of conflict between different parts of the government machine. In brief, the ‘core executive’ is the heart of the machine. The chapter reviews the several approaches to studying the British executive: prime ministerial government; prime ministerial cliques; Cabinet government; ministerial government; segmented decision-making; and bureaucratic coordination. It then discusses several ways forward by developing new theory and methods. The Afterword discusses the core executive as interlocking networks, and the fluctuating patterns of executive politics.

Keywords:   prime minister, Cabinet, minister, policy network, core executive, power-dependence, interlocking network, executive politics

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