The Prime minister and the core executive

The committee of senior cabinet members that is the main collective decision making body of the government.
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The branch of government responsible for policy making and policy implementation.
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Prime minister
The head of government and executive branch. The prime minister chairs the cabinet.
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Majority government
One political party has an absolute majority of seats in the house of commons and forms the government. Government memebers are from this party.
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Minority government
No party has the overall majority of seats in the house of commons so the largest party forms a government but must get support from other parties. Government memebers are from this party.
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Coalition government
No party has the majority, so two parties make one government to have a majority. Ministers are from both parties but more ministers come from the larger party.
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Power of an individual to appoint someone to an important position.
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Cabinet reshuffle
A series of changes to the personnel of the cabinet and the positions they hold, instigated by the PM.
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A meeting between the PM and a departmental minister in which policy is agreed.
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Prime Minister's office
The group of senior civil servants and special advisers, based at 10 downing street who provide advice and support for the prime minister, particularly on policy and communications with government, parliament and the media.
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Cabinet system
The cabinetand its associated bodies, including cabinet committees and the cabinet office.
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Cabinet committees
Committees appointed by the PM to consider aspects of government business. They include stamding committees and ad hoc committees.
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Cabinet office
A government department responsible for supporting the cabinet system and the prime minister, and managing the civil service.
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Kitchen government
An informal grouping of the prime minister's senior ministerial colleagues.
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Collective responsibility
The idea that all members of government are responsible as a group. Its main elements are that discussions should be kept secret, descisions made are binding on all ministers and the government on a whole must resign if defeated on a vote.
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Individual ministerial responsibility
The convention that ministers are accountable to parliament for their personal conduct, the general conduct of their department and the policies they persuethe actions of officials within their department, and their own conduct.
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Civil servants
An official employed in a civil capacity by the Crown, responsible for policy advice or policy implementation.
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Special adviser
A tempoary political appointment made by a government minister.
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Spin doctor
A special adviser employed to promote the image of the minister and his or her policy in the media.
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A large organisation that enacts policy and operates according to a clear set of rules and procedures. The role of each official within a bureaucracy is defined by these rules, and appointments are based on merit. There is a hierarchy of positions.
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Executive agency
An agency responsible for the delivery of government policy that is subordinate to a government department but enjoys significant autonomy in its day to day operations.
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Marketisation (Compare the meeerkat :P)
The extension of market mechanisms into government and the public sector: for example, by the transfer pf the provision of public services to the private sector.
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The UK civil service and government departments, named after the area of London in which many of these departments are based.
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Cabinet government
A system of government in which executive power is vested in a cabinet whose members exercise collective responsibility, rather than in a single office. Within the cabinet, the PM is first among equals. But they do have more power than ministers.
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Prime ministerial government
A system of government in which the PM is the dominant actor in the executive. The PM sets the direction of government, makes decisions and intervines in policy. The cabinet advises but does not decide policy.
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Core executive
This is at the heart of government, consisting of organisations and actors who coordinate centeral government activity, including the PM, cabinet, cabinet committees, bilateral meetings, the PM's office and top civil servants.
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The idea that UK PMs have taken on some of the characteristics of presidents because of the emergence of a personalised form of leadership. It is characterised by spatial leadership and public outreach.
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Other cards in this set

Card 2




The branch of government responsible for policy making and policy implementation.

Card 3


Prime minister


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Card 4


Majority government


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Card 5


Minority government


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