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Interpretive Political ScienceSelected Essays, Volume II$
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R. A. W. Rhodes

Print publication date: 2017

Print ISBN-13: 9780198786115

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: August 2017

DOI: 10.1093/oso/9780198786115.001.0001

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On Court Politics

On Court Politics

(p.115) 7 On Court Politics
Interpretive Political Science

R. A. W. Rhodes

Oxford University Press

This chapter considers contemporary history, arguing for convergence between the core executive and predominant prime minister theses on the idea of ‘court politics’. It draws on the genres of presentation and thought found in the discipline of contemporary history. It suggests that marrying the notion of court politics to the historical analysis of high politics opens a challenging new research agenda for executive studies. The tools of historical analysis deployed by the New Political History provide a toolkit for accessing these insights. The chapter briefly summarizes an interpretive approach in historiography and makes the case for drawing on the New Political History, sketching its distinctive features, with examples, and explaining its relevance to executive studies. It reviews, with examples, existing literature on court politics; James Bulpitt on statecraft, and Donald Savoie on court government. Finally, it identifies the advantages of using an interpretive approach to study court politics.

Keywords:   contemporary history, core executive, predominant prime ministers, court politics, the executive, prime minister, statecraft

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