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5. Comparing the UK Prime Minister with the US President
About this Lecture
In this module, we compare and contrast the UK Prime Minister with the President of the United States, thinking in particular about differences arising from each state’s respective political system, namely: (i) the US President is directly elected to the position of chief executive whilst the UK PM is only indirectly elected as leader of a political party, (ii) the separation of the President from Congress compared to the fusion of Parliament and the PM in the UK, (iii) the PM heads (with the exception of devolved powers) a unitary state whilst the President presides over a federal system, (iv) the power of the Supreme Court of the United States to hold the President to account and, (v) the distinction between the ‘personalised’ executive of the President and the ‘collegial’ executive of the Prime Minister.
In this course, Dr Richard Heffernan (Open University) thinks about the office of the Prime Minister of the United Kingdom. We begin in the first module by thinking about the three essential qualifications that the UK Prime Minister must hold. In the second module, we move on to think about the role and responsibilities of the Prime Minister. In the third module, we conceptualise the relationship between the Prime Minister and Parliament. In the fourth module, we consider how powerful the Prime Minister can be said to be, thinking in particularl about the ‘institutional’ and ‘personal’ power resources that together constitute the office’s authority. In the fifth module, we compare and contrast the office of the Prime Minister with that of the President of the United States. In the sixth and final module, we consider the circumstances under which an incumbent Prime Minister ceases to hold office.
Richard Heffernan is a Lecturer in Politics at the Open University and Visiting Professor at the University of Notre Dame. He works in the field of comparative politics and specialises in British politics. He is presently researching the British prime minister.
Cite this Lecture
Heffernan, R. (2019, September 26). The Prime Minister of the United Kingdom - Comparing the UK Prime Minister with the US President [Video]. MASSOLIT. https://www.massolit.io/courses/the-prime-minister-of-the-united-kingdom/comparing-the-uk-prime-minister-with-the-us-president
Heffernan, Richard. "The Prime Minister of the United Kingdom – Comparing the UK Prime Minister with the US President." MASSOLIT, uploaded by MASSOLIT, 26 Sep 2019, https://www.massolit.io/courses/the-prime-minister-of-the-united-kingdom/comparing-the-uk-prime-minister-with-the-us-president