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Why it Is Indeed Time for the Westminster Model to Be Retired from Comparative Politics

Russell, M; Serban, R; (2021) Why it Is Indeed Time for the Westminster Model to Be Retired from Comparative Politics. Government and Opposition pp. 1-15. 10.1017/gov.2021.49. (In press). Green open access

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Abstract

The term ‘Westminster model’ is frequently used by political scientists and practitioners. But our recent examination (Russell and Serban 2021), published in this journal, uncovered wide variation in how it is defined – demonstrating that it is more ‘muddle’ than ‘model’. This sparked a response article from Flinders et al. (2021), which we in turn respond to in this piece. We briefly revisit our initial research questions, methodology and findings, before reflecting on their analysis. We emphasize that, notwithstanding the critics’ negative tone, we and they agree on certain fundamentals. In particular on our original central point, that the ‘Westminster model’ is an ill-defined term with a long history, which mostly makes it unsuited to positivist comparative political science research. While the ‘Westminster model’ may have some valid vestigial uses, within the UK political system, or as an object of study for interpretivist political science, it does not provide a rigorous basis for case selection and comparative political science analysis.

Type: Article
Title: Why it Is Indeed Time for the Westminster Model to Be Retired from Comparative Politics
Open access status: An open access version is available from UCL Discovery
DOI: 10.1017/gov.2021.49
Publisher version: https://doi.org/10.1017/gov.2021.49
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: Westminster model, Westminster democracy, Westminster system, concepts, constitutions
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/10138811
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