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The Prime Minister of the United Kingdom

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About this Course

About the Course

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.

About the Lecturer

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.