The Selection of Ministers in Europe
Hiring and Firing
Edited by Keith Dowding, Patrick Dumont
Routledge – 2009 – 238 pages
This volume discusses the formation of government cabinets within twenty European democracies, providing the institutional background to the selection and de-selection of ministers.
Exploring the historical and constitutional context to cabinet formation, this volume proceeds to provide vital data on the strategic issues that affect the selection of ministers. Covering states from all over Europe, the authors examine trends from the post-war period up to the present day, with specific focus on recent decades for the newer democracies in political transition. The volume includes:
The book is the first output of the Selection and De-selection of Political Elites international network of scholars (SEDEPE) and will provide a major source of information for all scholars interested in the formation, maintenance and termination of cabinets and the nature of ministerial government. The Selection of Ministers in Europe. Hiring and Firing will also be of broader interest to students of European Government and Political Institutions.
'This book is the first product of a joint cross-national project whose goal is to systematically analyse the selection and de-selection of political elites. It is clearly a highly successful first move, and lays solid foundations for the next steps in an ambitious project. The book contains invaluable background information on the structure and formation of governments, and rich data on various aspects of the hiring and firing of ministers in ten West European democracies (Germany, France, the UK, Italy, Spain, Belgium, Portugal, Sweden, Ireland and Iceland). It also includes a chapter on ten new post-communist democracies. The book is useful for many purposes – from information-gathering in order to prepare an informed class on cabinets and ministers to conducting research. If one is studying the government in a single country, it offers data to put the subject in a comparative perspective. If one aims at a cross-national comparison, this volume is a good starting point.'
Gideon Rahat, Hebrew University of Jerusalem, Israel
1. Structural and Strategic Factors Affecting the Hiring and Firing of Ministers 2. Hiring and Firing Ministers under Informal Constraints: Germany 3. Cabinet Dynamics and Ministerial Careers in the French Fifth Republic 4. Choosing, Moving and Resigning at Westminster 5. Italy: the Difficult Road towards a more Effective Process of Ministerial Selection 6. Cabinet Dynamics in Democratic Spain 7. Ups and Downs of Ministerial Careers in a Partitocratic Federal State 8. Portugal: The Primacy of ‘Independents’ 9. In Tranquil Waters: Swedish Cabinet Ministers in the Post-War Era 10. Constructing and Maintaining Irish Governments 11. More Safe than Sound? Cabinet Ministers in Iceland 12. Learning to Rule: Ministerial Careers in Post-Communist Democracies