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The Prime Ministers' CraftWhy Some Succeed and Others Fail in Westminster Systems$
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Patrick Weller

Print publication date: 2018

Print ISBN-13: 9780199646203

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: May 2018

DOI: 10.1093/oso/9780199646203.001.0001

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PRINTED FROM OXFORD SCHOLARSHIP ONLINE (oxford.universitypressscholarship.com). (c) Copyright Oxford University Press, 2021. All Rights Reserved. An individual user may print out a PDF of a single chapter of a monograph in OSO for personal use. date: 20 January 2022

The Job

The Job

Assumptions, Visions, and Workloads

(p.59) 3 The Job
The Prime Ministers' Craft

Patrick Weller

Oxford University Press

Prime ministers have no job description. They must exercise their prerogative powers to run the systems of government but, apart from those duties, they must determine what they see as important, how they will spend their time and what priorities they will set. This chapter explores how they approach their job; it identifies the importance of prior experience. Some prime ministers have never even been in office and must learn fast to define a strategy and learn how to manage their colleagues, even while they come to terms with the challenges of the job. Others have decades of experience and know what they want to do. Prime ministers’ working practices will differ; there is no one proper way of doing the job, even though they will share a number of common dilemmas.

Keywords:   Prime ministers, prior experience, defining the role, shaping the task, ambitions, job descriptions, dilemmas

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