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Modes of UK Executive-Legislative Relations Revisited

Russell, M; Cowley, P; (2018) Modes of UK Executive-Legislative Relations Revisited. The Political Quarterly , 89 (1) pp. 18-28. 10.1111/1467-923X.12463. Green open access

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Abstract

Anthony King's 1976 article ‘Modes of executive–legislative relations: Great Britain, France and West Germany’ is a classic in legislative studies. It argued that it is simplistic to analyse relations between ‘the executive’ and ‘the legislature’ in parliamentary systems, because parliaments are complex organisations comprised of competing actors. Instead, we must consider the various ‘modes’ through which these actors can interact to challenge the executive. As King pointed out, the classic view of the British Parliament was of a dominant ‘opposition mode’ and yet, in fact, the most important relationship was the ‘intraparty mode’: between the government and its own backbenchers. Other options, such as the ‘non‐party mode’ or ‘cross‐party mode’ were considered weak in Britain. This article revisits King's modes in the light of changes at Westminster during the intervening forty years. Developments such as the establishment of the select committee system and a more confident and party‐balanced House of Lords require significant changes to his conclusions. But his central insights, encouraging readers to focus on the multiple relationships inside legislatures, including those within political parties, remain fundamentally important.

Type: Article
Title: Modes of UK Executive-Legislative Relations Revisited
Open access status: An open access version is available from UCL Discovery
DOI: 10.1111/1467-923X.12463
Publisher version: https://doi.org/10.1111/1467-923X.12463
Language: English
Additional information: This version is the author accepted manuscript. For information on re-use, please refer to the publisher’s terms and conditions.
Keywords: parliament, executive, opposition, backbenchers, House of Lords
UCL classification: UCL
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > UCL SLASH
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > UCL SLASH > Faculty of S&HS
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > UCL SLASH > Faculty of S&HS > Dept of Political Science
URI: https://discovery.ucl.ac.uk/id/eprint/10045975
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