Government ministers in the contemporary world
Title: Government ministers in the contemporary world
Author: BLONDEL, Jean
Citation: London ; Beverly Hills : SAGE, 1985, Political executives in comparative perspective ; 3
ISBN: 0803997507; 0803997515 (pbk.)
Ministerial careers and the structure of ministerial careers have been largely neglected areas of study in political science. This third volume of Jean Blondel's comparative study of governments is the first book to explore this important area by examining the similarities and differences among government ministers of the world since 1945. Governments have grown in scope, and spread geographically, to the point where a new phenomenon has emerged -- rule by a political class of ministers regarded as the main instruments of change. Yet ministerial careers and the structure of ministerial careers have been largely neglected areas of study in political science. Jean Blondel's new book is a major, comparative study of the world's government ministers since 1945, which examines both their similarities and differences. Party structures, legislative behaviour, even bureaucratic arrangements vary from country to country, but the nature of the job and the status of ministers is largely uniform, making it possible to study and tackle fundamental questions and assumptions of ministerial government. This volume builds an analytical framework in order to probe the very foundation of the 'ministerial profession' and explore important questions concerning political executives. Do social, economic, cultural or institutional factors contribute to the making of good or bad ministers? Are we justified in complaining about bad government? And, does high ministerial turnover contribute to bad government?
Table of Contents:
Introduction. -- 1. The study of ministerial careers. -- Part I. Background. -- 2. The social background of ministers. -- 3. The routes to ministerial office. -- Part II. The duration of ministers in office. -- 4. A short ministerial 'career'. -- 5. Ministerial duration and the impact of institutions. -- 6. Patterns of ministerial duration. -- 7. The one-year ministers. -- Part III. Ministers in government. -- 8. Amateurs and specialists. -- 9. The one-post ministers, those who are mobile, and those who come and go. -- 10. Long-lasting ministers. -- 11. Conclusion.
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