Executives, Bureaucracies and Decision-Making
It has been argued that a country’s size can be a crucial determinant of executive power: Allum (1995, p. xviii) quotes Thucydides’ dictum that ‘great states do what they may; tiny states do what they must’. A distinction should therefore be drawn, argues Allum, between Europe’s principal states — Britain, France, Germany and Italy — and the remainder. None the less, in all states, no matter what their size, national political executives are charged with three basic functions: the elaboration, co-ordination and implementation of public policies (Blondel, 1992, p. 268). How they carry out these functions varies widely, of course, and is affected by numerous factors. One such factor, which is of particular significance in terms of the real power enjoyed by national executives, is the constitutional provisions established in any given state.
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