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Accounting for Ministers
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  • Cited by 19
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    This book has been cited by the following publications. This list is generated based on data provided by CrossRef.

    Bäck, Hanna and Persson, Thomas 2018. Technocratic Ministers and Political Leadership in European Democracies. p. 53.

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    WRATIL, CHRISTOPHER and PASTORELLA, GIULIA 2018. Dodging the bullet: How crises trigger technocrat-led governments. European Journal of Political Research, Vol. 57, Issue. 2, p. 450.

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    van Coppenolle, Brenda 2017. Political Dynasties in the UK House of Commons: The Null Effect of Narrow Electoral Selection. Legislative Studies Quarterly, Vol. 42, Issue. 3, p. 449.

    Bucur, Cristina 2017. Cabinet ministers under competing pressures: Presidents, prime ministers, and political parties in semi-presidential systems. Comparative European Politics, Vol. 15, Issue. 2, p. 180.

    Petrovsky, Nicolai James, Oliver Moseley, Alice and Boyne, George A. 2017. What Explains Agency Heads’ Length of Tenure? Testing Managerial Background, Performance, and Political Environment Effects. Public Administration Review, Vol. 77, Issue. 4, p. 591.

    Gift, Thomas and Krcmaric, Daniel 2017. Who Democratizes? Western-educated Leaders and Regime Transitions. Journal of Conflict Resolution, Vol. 61, Issue. 3, p. 671.

    Dowding, Keith 2017. Australian exceptionalism reconsidered. Australian Journal of Political Science, Vol. 52, Issue. 2, p. 165.

    Søyland, Martin G. 2017. Survival of the Ministers: On Ministerial Durability in Postwar Norway. Scandinavian Political Studies, Vol. 40, Issue. 2, p. 182.

    Allen, Peter 2016. Achieving sex equality in executive appointments. Party Politics, Vol. 22, Issue. 5, p. 609.

    Fernandes, Jorge M. Meinfelder, Florian and Moury, Catherine 2016. Wary Partners. Comparative Political Studies, Vol. 49, Issue. 9, p. 1270.

    Heppell, Tim and Crines, Andrew 2016. Conservative ministers in the Coalition government of 2010–15: evidence of bias in the ministerial selections of David Cameron?. The Journal of Legislative Studies, Vol. 22, Issue. 3, p. 385.

    Heppell, Timothy and Hill, Michael 2015. Prime Ministerial Powers of Patronage: Ministerial Appointments and Dismissals Under Edward Heath. Contemporary British History, Vol. 29, Issue. 4, p. 464.

    Bright, Jonathan Döring, Holger and Little, Conor 2015. Ministerial Importance and Survival in Government: Tough at the Top?. West European Politics, Vol. 38, Issue. 3, p. 441.

    Vercesi, Michelangelo 2015. Owner parties and party institutionalisation in Italy: is the Northern League exceptional?. Modern Italy, Vol. 20, Issue. 4, p. 395.

    Ennser-Jedenastik, Laurenz 2014. Political Control and Managerial Survival in State-Owned Enterprises. Governance, Vol. 27, Issue. 1, p. 135.

    Kerby, Matthew and Banfield, Andrew C. 2014. The determinants of voluntary judicial resignation in Australia, Canada, and New Zealand. Commonwealth & Comparative Politics, Vol. 52, Issue. 3, p. 335.

    Fischer, Jörn Dowding, Keith and Dumont, Patrick 2012. The duration and durability of cabinet ministers. International Political Science Review, Vol. 33, Issue. 5, p. 505.


Book description

Accounting for Ministers uses the tools of modern political science to analyse the factors which determine the fortunes of Cabinet ministers. Utilising agency theory, it describes Cabinet government as a system of incentives for prime ministerial and parliamentary rule. The authors use a unique dataset of ministers from 1945 to 2007 to examine the structural and individual characteristics that lead to the selection and durability of ministers. Sensitive to historical context, it describes the unique features of different Prime Ministers and the sorts of issues and scandals that lead to the forced exit of ministers. The authors identify the structural factors that determine ministerial performance and tenure, seeing resignation calls as performance indicators. Probing the nature of individual and collective responsibility within Westminster forms of government, its rigorous analysis provides powerful new insights into the nature of Cabinet government.


‘For those used to studies of parliamentary systems in which the government is treated [as] The Government - that is, as a unitary actor, the present volume by Berlinski, Dewan, and Dowding will come as welcome relief. In this superb piece of theoretical and empirical analysis, the authors 'unpack' the government and provide us with a model of its internal workings. In the process we are given a theoretical account of who serves as government minister, their comings and goings, their management by the prime minister, and ultimately their performance. The analysis is clear and accessible; the empirical work persuasive; and the conclusions illuminating. This is a fine piece of work.’

Kenneth A. Shepsle - Harvard University

‘Berlinski, Dewan and Dowding take the rich evidence of ministerial scandals and Prime Ministerial decision-making to provide a robust analysis of the accountability and effectiveness of British government. Using the tools of political science they build a powerful model of performance and responsibility which provides great insight into the nature and outcomes of British democratic politics.’

Alistair McMillan - University of Sheffield

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