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Prime Minister and Cabinet

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About this Course

About the Course

This course explores the Prime Minister and cabinet, drawing examples from the tenures of Margaret Thatcher and Theresa May throughout. We begin with the history of the role of Prime Minister, before moving on in the second module to discuss the conventions of individual and collective responsibility. We then turn in the third module to the various powers of a Prime Minister, before exploring sources of Prime Ministerial power in the fourth, fifth and sixth modules. Here, we focus on personality and style, authority and resources, and the power to “hire and fire”, using comparative examples from the tenures of Margaret Thatcher and Theresa May throughout. In the seventh module, we focus in on the cabinet and relative power balance between Prime Minister and cabinet, before concluding in the eighth module with some comments on other actors who shape how UK government policy is made, including special advisors and MPs in political parties. This course provides both conceptual knowledge and a variety of helpful examples for the “UK Politics – The Executive” section of the A Level exam specifications.

About the Lecturer

Before taking up his current role as a Leverhulme Early Career Fellow, Mitya lectured on British politics in POLIS, the University of Cambridge, and worked for several years as a researcher in energy and climate change policy at a Westminster think tank. He has also previously taught British politics at the LSE and comparative politics at KCL. Mitya’s research to date has focused on various aspects of environmental politics in Britain and Europe. His current Leverhulme-funded project examines UK government decision-making on climate change since 2008. He recently co-authored the article 'Exploring party change: the professionalisation of the UK’s three Green parties crossing the representation threshold' with Louise Thompson, another MASSOLIT contributor.