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3. What is the Relationship Between the Prime Minister and Parliament?
About this Lecture
In this module, we think about the relationship between the Prime Minister and Parliament. We begin by remining ourselves that the PM is fundamentally a ‘parliamentary creature’ who must work with and through Parliament to achieve her ends. We move on to reflect on the dual function of Parliament, on the one hand supplying and supporting the government, on the other checking and balancing it. We conclude by thinking about four reasons why MPs decide to vote with their party whips and support the policies of their government.
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 - What is the Relationship Between the Prime Minister and Parliament? [Video]. MASSOLIT. https://www.massolit.io/courses/the-prime-minister-of-the-united-kingdom/what-is-the-relationship-between-the-prime-minister-and-parliament
Heffernan, Richard. "The Prime Minister of the United Kingdom – What is the Relationship Between the Prime Minister and Parliament?." MASSOLIT, uploaded by MASSOLIT, 26 Sep 2019, https://www.massolit.io/courses/the-prime-minister-of-the-united-kingdom/what-is-the-relationship-between-the-prime-minister-and-parliament