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Executive Leadership in Government

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Actors, Interests and Lobbying
Administration and Governance
Administrative Law and Constitutional Checks on the Executive
All-Powerful Leaders?: The Concentration of Power in Modern Executives
Bureaucracy and the Formulation of Public Policy
Canadian Intergovernmental Structures and Operating Processes
Conceptual and Theoretical Foundations of Third Sector Governance and Management
Courts, Judicial Review, Rights and Democracy
Emergence of the Nation State
Executive Authority, Cabinet and Leadership
Executive Leadership in Government
Executive-Legislative Relations
Federal-Provincial Fiscal Relations
Federal-Provincial-Municipal Relations
Game Theory and Rational Institutionalism
Indigenous Rights and Institutions
Institutional Architecture: Federalism
Institutional Designs and Paths
Machinery of Government
Media, Framing and Agenda Setting
New Public Management
Parliamentary, Presidential and Decentralized Unitary Systems
Political and Administrative Responsibilities
Political and Administrative Responsibilities
Political Parties and Elections
Probing the Accuracy of Rational Decision Making Models: Alternative Accounts
Public and Para-Public Institutions
Public Institutions, Organizing Principles and Democratic Control
Public Opinion, Ideas and Policy Frames
Representation and Accountability
Representation and Responsiveness
Representation, Accountability and Policy
The Architecture of the Canadian State
The Bureaucracy and Bureaucratic Behaviour
The Changing Role of the State
The Democratic Deficit: Ethics, Responsiveness and Performance
The International Context of Domestic Institutions
The Policy Cycle
The Political Context of Policy Making
Weber: Rationalization and Bureaucracy
Westminster Parliamentary Systems
Who are the Players in the Policy Process?


Executive Leadership in Government

This topic deals with the role of the Cabinet in Westminster parliamentary systems of government. Students learn about the role of the Prime Minister, other Cabinet Ministers and the relationship between these officials and the government bureaucracy.

Topic Learning Outcome: Upon mastering this topic, students will be able to clearly explain the role of the Cabinet in a Westminster parliamentary system. They will understand the role of the Prime Minister and other Cabinet Ministers, and will be able to explain the relationships between the Cabinet and the bureaucracy as well as the Cabinet and the legislature.

Core Concepts associated with this Topic: Emergency Management; Prime Minister; Cabinet; Memorandum to Cabinet.

Recommended Reading

University of Ottawa API 5116 Democratic Governance and Public Management

David Johnson (2011), "Thinking Government: Public Administration and Politics in Canada," 3rd edition, Toronto, University of Toronto Press. Chapters 3 and 4.

Donald Savoie (2010), “Revisiting Governing from the Centre”, in Power: Where Is It?, Montreal and Kingston, McGill-Queen’s University Press, 129-151.

Eoin O’Malley (2007), “Setting Choices, Controlling Outcomes: The Operation of Prime Ministerial Influence and the UK’s Decision to Invade Iraq”, British Journal of Politics and International Relations, vol. 9, 1-19.

Peter Riddell, Zoe Gruhn, and Liz Carolan (2011), "The Challenge of Being a Minister," London, Institute of Government, London, Institute of Government, 14-22.

 Sample Assessment Questions:

1.) What is the role of the Prime Minister in the Westminster parliamentary system? What is meant by the term "primus inter pares?"

2.) What is the cabinet? What is the role of the cabinet in the Westminster parliamentary system?

3.) What does the term "responsible government" mean? Explain this concept with reference to the relationship between the cabinet and the legislature.

Page Created By: Matthew Seddon, 11 August 2013; edited by Sean Goertzen and Ben Eisen on 6 May 2015.


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© University of Toronto 2008
School of Public Policy and Governance