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2. What Does the Prime Minister Do?
About this Lecture
In this module, we think about the role of the Prime Minister in the UK political system, focusing in particular on: (i) the royal prerogatives vested in the PM, (ii) the fact that the ‘buck’ stops with the PM who is ultimately responsible for the government’s performance, (iii) the idea of the PM as primus inter pares or first among equals and, (iv) how the PM’s power is dependent on marshalling a parliamentary majority.
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 Does the Prime Minister Do? [Video]. MASSOLIT. https://massolit.io/courses/the-prime-minister-of-the-united-kingdom/what-does-the-prime-minister-do
Heffernan, R. "The Prime Minister of the United Kingdom – What Does the Prime Minister Do?." MASSOLIT, uploaded by MASSOLIT, 26 Sep 2019, https://massolit.io/courses/the-prime-minister-of-the-united-kingdom/what-does-the-prime-minister-do