How Is Power Used?

  • M. Donald Hancock
  • David P. Conradt
  • B. Guy Peters
  • William Safran
  • Raphael Zariski


To this point we have described the institutions of British government, but have done so in rather a static fashion. This chapter attempts to bring these structures to life and to demonstrate how actors and institutions produce policies. We also demonstrate how the distinctive character of British governmental institutions affects the policies produced so that they may be different from those emanating from other political systems, even those faced with similar policymaking problems. In particular, the majoritarian nature of British parliamentary government will, everything else being equal, produce greater variation in policy than would be found in more consensual parliamentary systems.


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  1. 1.
    These figures are drawn from Ivor Burton and Gavin Drewry, “Public Legislation,” Parliamentary Affairs, various years.Google Scholar
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    Parliament does, however, review the content of these instruments through a select committee.Google Scholar
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    Brian W. Hogwood and B. Guy Peters, Policy Dynamics (Brighton: Wheatsheaf, 1983).Google Scholar
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    Keith Krehbiel, Information and Legislative Organization (Ann Arbor: University of Michigan Press, 1992).Google Scholar
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    The phrase is Lord Hailsham’s. See his BBC lecture (1976) of the same name.Google Scholar
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    Jorgen Rasmussen, The British Political Process: Concentrated Power Versus Accountability (Belmont, Calif.: Wadsworth, 1993).Google Scholar

Copyright information

© Macmillan Publishers Limited 1998

Authors and Affiliations

  • M. Donald Hancock
    • 1
  • David P. Conradt
    • 2
  • B. Guy Peters
    • 3
  • William Safran
    • 4
  • Raphael Zariski
    • 5
  1. 1.Vanderbilt UniversityUSA
  2. 2.East Carolina UniversityUSA
  3. 3.University of PittsburghUSA
  4. 4.University of ColoradoBoulderUSA
  5. 5.University of NebraskaLincolnUSA

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