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The Westminster Model and the Civil Service

1. Key Characteristics

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About this Lecture

Lecture

In this module, we think about the central characteristics of the Westminster Model – its core principles, how it operates, how it’s evolved historically, and how it’s currently understood. In particular, we focus on: (i) the fact that the UK operates under an unwritten constitution; (ii) the concepts of the sovereignty of parliament, the unitary state, and constitutional monarchy; (v) the nature of cabinet government; (vi) the role of the judiciary and its relation to the other branches of government; (vii) the UK electoral system; and (viii) the nature of the civil service in the Westminster Model.

Course

In this course, Dr Patrick Diamond (Queen Mary, University of London) explores the parliamentary system of government known as the Westminster Model, with a focus in the second half of the course on one of its central pillars: a permanent, independent civil service. In the first module, we think about the central characteristics of the Westminster Model – its core principles, how it operates, how it’s evolved historically, and how it’s currently understood. After that, in the second module, we think about the arguments for and against the Westminster Model. In the third module, we divide the supporters and critics of the Westminster Model into four ‘camps’, each of which has a different view of the merits of the Westminster Model and how (if at all) it should be changed. In the fourth module, we think about one of the central institutions of the Westminster Model, the Civil Service, before turning in the fifth and final module to consider the challenges and criticisms faced by the Civil Service in the past few decades and how it has adapted and continues to adapt as a result.

Lecturer

Patrick Diamond is Senior Lecturer in Public Policy at Queen Mary, University of London, specialising in the comparative study of the core executive and civil service, policy advice systems, social democratic ideology in the EU and the British Labour party. Between 2002-10, he held a number of senior posts in British central government between 2000 and 2010, and was formally Head of Policy Planning in 10 Downing Street. His recent publications include The End of Whitehall: Government by Permanent Campaign (2018) and Endgame for the Centre-Left: The Retreat of European Social Democracy (2016).

Cite this Lecture

APA style

Diamond, P. (2020, February 21). The Westminster Model and the Civil Service - Key Characteristics [Video]. MASSOLIT. https://www.massolit.io/courses/the-westminster-model-and-the-civil-service/key-characteristics

MLA style

Diamond, Patrick. "The Westminster Model and the Civil Service – Key Characteristics." MASSOLIT, uploaded by MASSOLIT, 21 Feb 2020, https://www.massolit.io/courses/the-westminster-model-and-the-civil-service/key-characteristics