Governing together : the extent and limits of joint decision-making in Western European cabinets
Title: Governing together : the extent and limits of joint decision-making in Western European cabinets
Publisher: St. Martin's Press
Citation: New York : St. Martin's Press, 1993
ISBN: 0312099908; 0333556569
'Governing together' is the first truly comparative attempt at analysing how the national cabinets of Western European parliamentary systems take their decisions. There has been much talk about 'prime ministerial government' and about the end of the cabinet as an effective body. On the basis of the analysis of conflicts and, especially, of over 400 interviews of ministers in twelve Western European countries, this study examines the nature of the decision process. The role of procedures and rules, of parties and prime ministers' offices, of individual ministers, of ministers of finance, and, above all, of prime ministers, is thus examined for the first time on the basis of the evidence of those who belong to national cabinets. The work considers in particular how far governments composed of one party only and governments based on coalitions differ from one another, as well as whether large differences are due to the characteristics of individual countries. The overall conclusion is that, while cabinets no longer have, in most countries, the central position which they once had, they remain an essential focus for the national decision process.
Table of Contents:
1. Introduction / Jean Blondel and Ferdinand Müller-Rommel. -- Part I. General framework of analysis. -- 2. A model of the cabinet system : the dimension of cabinet decision-making processes / Rudi Andeweg. -- 3. The single party/coalition distinction and cabinet decision-making / André-Paul Frognier. -- Part II. The role of structures in cabinet decision-making. -- 4. The organisational structure of Western European cabinets and its impact on decision-making / Jean-Louis Thiébault. -- 5. Organising the flow of business in Western European cabinets / Martin Burch. -- 6. Ministers and the role of the prime minister staff / Ferdinand Müller-Rommel. -- 7. The links between cabinets and parties and cabinet decision-making / Liéren de Winter. -- Part III. The role of individuals in cabinet decision-making. -- 8. Individual ministers and their role in cabinet decision-making / Jean Blondel. -- 9. The role and position of ministers of finance / Torbjörn Larsson. -- 10. Prime ministers and cabinet decision-making processes / Wolfgang C. Müller, Wilfred Philipp and Peter Gerlich. -- Part IV. Conclusions : achievements, problems and reforms. -- 11. Decision-making, policy content and conflict resolution in Western European cabinets / Jaakko Nousiainen. -- 12. Evaluating cabinet decision-making / Svein Eriksen. -- 13. Conclusion / Jaakko Nousiainen and Jean Blondel.
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