Skip to content
Register Sign in Wishlist

Accounting for Ministers
Scandal and Survival in British Government 1945–2007


  • Date Published: March 2012
  • availability: In stock
  • format: Hardback
  • isbn: 9780521519724

£ 75.99

Add to cart Add to wishlist

Other available formats:

Looking for an inspection copy?

This title is not currently available on inspection

Product filter button
About the Authors
  • 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.

    • Provides a new account of ministerial behaviour
    • Focuses on the relationship between Prime Ministers and their Cabinets
    • Uses a unique dataset of ministers from 1945 to 2007
    Read more

    Reviews & endorsements

    '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

    See more reviews

    Customer reviews

    Not yet reviewed

    Be the first to review

    Review was not posted due to profanity


    , create a review

    (If you're not , sign out)

    Please enter the right captcha value
    Please enter a star rating.
    Your review must be a minimum of 12 words.

    How do you rate this item?


    Product details

    • Date Published: March 2012
    • format: Hardback
    • isbn: 9780521519724
    • length: 208 pages
    • dimensions: 234 x 159 x 17 mm
    • weight: 0.45kg
    • contains: 19 b/w illus. 16 tables
    • availability: In stock
  • Table of Contents

    1. Introduction
    2. Managing the Cabinet: principal-agent relations in government
    3. The structure of British government
    4. Who serves in government and how long do they last?
    5. The Prime Minister and Cabinet
    6. Performance measures and forced exits
    7. Ministerial performance and tenure
    8. Conclusions

  • Authors

    Samuel Berlinski, Inter-American Development Bank
    Samuel Berlinski is Lead Research Economist in the Research Department of the Inter-American Development Bank.

    Torun Dewan, London School of Economics and Political Science
    Torun Dewan is Reader in Political Science in the Department of Government at the London School of Economics and Political Science.

    Keith Dowding, Australian National University, Canberra
    Keith Dowding is Professor of Political Science in the School of Politics and International Relations, Research School of Social Sciences and Director of the Research College of Arts and Social Sciences at the Australian National University.

Sign In

Please sign in to access your account


Not already registered? Create an account now. ×

Sorry, this resource is locked

Please register or sign in to request access. If you are having problems accessing these resources please email

Register Sign in
Please note that this file is password protected. You will be asked to input your password on the next screen.

» Proceed

You are now leaving the Cambridge University Press website. Your eBook purchase and download will be completed by our partner Please see the permission section of the catalogue page for details of the print & copy limits on our eBooks.

Continue ×

Continue ×

Continue ×

Find content that relates to you

Join us online

This site uses cookies to improve your experience. Read more Close

Are you sure you want to delete your account?

This cannot be undone.


Thank you for your feedback which will help us improve our service.

If you requested a response, we will make sure to get back to you shortly.

Please fill in the required fields in your feedback submission.