By Jean Blondel, Ferdinand Müller-Rommel
A presentation of the constitution and workings of the nationwide cupboards in Western ecu nations at the present time, in line with a typical framework which permits the reader to check their origins, constitution, composition and actions. Emphasis is put on the management and at the personality of coalitions.
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In reality, these provisions had little effect. Few 'extern ministers' were appointed, none could be regarded as specialists and all were active members selected by the government party .. Taking advantage of the provision for flexible amendment of the Constitution, most of these institutional innovations were gradually abolished. Despite continuing unrest and challenges to the legitimacy of the state, the system quickly settled down. In 1927 de Valera led his party, 38 Ireland now called Fianna Fail, into the Dail and formed an effective opposition.
These Permanent Secretaries meet formally once a week to discuss the business that will come before cabinet and how Ministers are to be advised on it (Haines, 1977). Finally, coordination in a formal manner across departments is achieved through meetings between two departments, their ministers and officials. These formal means of coordination are supplemented by less formal mechanisms. Personal contacts, bargaining and so forth are a central 28 The United Kingdom part of any policy process and no less so than in the highly political environment that operates within and around cabinet.
Sometimes, especially in the case of incoming new governments, party manifestos identify policy priorities demanding action. Sometimes proposals have arisen from a consensus generated between government arid various 'social partners' which might be seen as approximating some model of a corporate state (Barrington, 1982; Farrell, 1986; Chubb, 1987). Only rarely do government backbenchers through parliamentary party meetings, opposition parties or general interest groups not identified as clients of a particular department succeed in promoting, or even significantly altering the shape of, new policies.