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Why it is indeed time for the Westminster model to be retired from comparative politics

Russell, Meg and Serban, Ruxandra (2022) Why it is indeed time for the Westminster model to be retired from comparative politics. Government and Opposition, 57 (2). 370 - 384. ISSN 0017-257X

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Identification Number: 10.1017/gov.2021.49


The term 'Westminster model' is frequently used by political scientists and practitioners. But our recent examination (Russell and Serban 2021), published in this journal, uncovered wide variation in how it is defined - demonstrating that it is more 'muddle' than 'model'. This sparked a response article from Flinders et al. (2021), which we in turn respond to in this piece. We briefly revisit our initial research questions, methodology and findings, before reflecting on their analysis. We emphasize that, notwithstanding the critics' negative tone, we and they agree on certain fundamentals. In particular on our original central point, that the 'Westminster model' is an ill-defined term with a long history, which mostly makes it unsuited to positivist comparative political science research. While the 'Westminster model' may have some valid vestigial uses, within the UK political system, or as an object of study for interpretivist political science, it does not provide a rigorous basis for case selection and comparative political science analysis.

Item Type: Article
Official URL:
Additional Information: © 2021 The Authors
Divisions: Methodology
Subjects: J Political Science > JC Political theory
Date Deposited: 25 Nov 2021 12:12
Last Modified: 04 Apr 2022 08:00

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