Great Expectations: The Job at the Top and the People who do it

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Abstract

Anthony King thought and wrote a great deal about British prime ministers and political leadership more generally. But in contrast to the way in which single papers embodied his contribution to our understanding of ‘government overload’, ‘executive-legislative relations’ and ‘career politicians’, his contribution to our understanding of the prime ministership was defined by a body of work. This essay explores that body of work and identifies some of the themes that characterised it. It then relates King's work to claims about the ‘presidentialisation’ of the office, as well as the importance of the expectations surrounding contemporary prime ministers. As Britain grapples with the challenge of Brexit, we should all take note of his counsel against expecting too much in the way of ‘strong’ prime ministerial leadership.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)9-17
Number of pages9
JournalThe Political Quarterly
Volume89
Issue number1
Early online date2 Dec 2017
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 2018

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