Prime Ministers, Ministers and Civil Servants in Britain

in Comparative Sociology
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Abstract

This paper examines a variety of recent challenges to the British political system and assesses the impact on the two key political elites in Britain - ministers and civil servants. It analyses their response to these challenges and argues that both ministers and civil servants have been adept at pursuing a public strategy of greater openness, inclusivity and flexibility, while privately remaining a homogenous elite with a tight hold on power. This appears to have continued, despite the 1997 change in government. The British political elites have been successful at ensuring the continuation of plurality without pluralism in the political system.

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