Matthew Flinders

in The Oxford Handbook of British Politics

Published in print July 2009 | ISBN: 9780199230952
Published online January 2010 | | DOI:

Series: Oxford Handbooks in Politics & International Relations


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This article concentrates on functional delegation at the national level. It also focuses around two core arguments. The first argument is concerned with showing how dominant ideas about the British political system have had direct consequences for: the institutional focus of political studies; the theories and methods used; and the interpretive values held by scholars. The second argument is more interested on what is missing from the study of delegation within British politics. It starts by determining the three dominant traditions in the study of delegation and how these traditions affect the deployment of theories and methods. It explores the historical disparity between constitutional theory and constitutional practice. It then modifies the British state into its constituent elements in order to distinguish specific forms of delegation and the existence of gradations of autonomy. A plea for the politicization of delegation is finally shown.

Keywords: functional delegation; British political system; British politics; constitutional theory; constitutional practice; British state; politicization

Article.  8957 words. 

Subjects: Politics ; UK Politics

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