Despite claims about the “hollowing-out” of the state, governments worldwide are still focused on policymaking through various bureaucratic structures. But who controls this apparatus? In the US, the common response is that the president possesses most levers of control over the administrative state. In this paper, I argue that similar reality exists in parliamentary systems in relation to prime ministers and, consequently, that governing around the world has increasingly become the task of chief executives. The paper uses the case studies of the UK, Canada, & Australia to demonstrate this claim. It documents the techniques PMs used to centralize control in their own hands and the legal and constitutional justifications advanced for them. The paper compares the case studies and seeks to draw from this discussion lessons for ongoing debates on the “presidentialization” of politics, the evolution of constitutional conventions, and the suitability of current accountability structures.
Our 2020 Annual Conference was scheduled to be held at the University of Wrocław in Poland on July 9-11, 2020.
Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the ICON·S Executive Committee has decided to postpone our 2020 Conference to 2021. Our next Annual Conference will take place from July 8-10, 2021, in Wrocław, Poland.
Procedural details regarding the organization of the 2021 Conference will follow in the months ahead.Join ICON•S