The United Kingdom: Still a Single ‘Chain of Command’? The Hollowing Out of the ‘Westminster Model’

Thomas Saalfeld

in Delegation and Accountability in Parliamentary Democracies

Published in print November 2003 | ISBN: 9780198297840
Published online January 2005 | e-ISBN: 9780191602016 | DOI:

Series: Comparative Politics

The United Kingdom: Still a Single ‘Chain of Command’? The Hollowing Out of the ‘Westminster Model’

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The ‘core’ of the Westminster chain of democratic delegation and accountability has remained tremendously stable in a country whose economic and political institutions have undergone considerable change since 1979. As a result of the electoral system, the voters’ aggregate choice, mediated by disciplined political parties, continues to have a very direct impact on the selection of the government of the day. Normatively, this may justify the fact that government, as the agent of Parliament and the electorate, faces few domestic political constraints. However, outside the core of the chain, British government has witnessed major changes in voting behaviour, the nature of government, and executive accountability.

Keywords: devolution; efficiency; parliamentary government; parliamentary sovereignty; privatization; single-member district plurality; transparency; unitary government; Westminster model

Chapter.  14070 words. 

Subjects: Comparative Politics

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