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Objectivity and falsehood: assessing measures of positional influence with members of David Cameron’s cabinets

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This paper analyses the distribution of power among ministers during David Cameron’s premiership. More specifically, it reports both the application of Dunleavy’s measures of positional influence to successive lists of cabinet committees and our efforts validate them by drawing on insider feedback. It charts how the cabinet-committee system changed between 2010 and 2016, and interprets successive rankings of ministerial influence. It further investigates the nature of power in Cameron’s governments by detailing a number of former ministers’ responses to our measures. Those we spoke to were generally sceptical of the importance of cabinet committees and especially of our attempts to derive measures of ministerial influence from them. Overall, our findings emphasise the dangers of attributing too much importance to formal structures and instead draw attention to how contemporary core-executive politics are shaped by informal networks and structures.
Original languageEnglish
Number of pages18
JournalBritish Journal of Politics & International Relations
Early online date28 Feb 2020
Publication statusEarly online - 28 Feb 2020


  • Objectivity_or_falsehood_AAM

    Rights statement: Nora Siklodi and Nicholas Allen, 'Objectivity and falsehood: Assessing measures of positional influence with members of David Cameron’s cabinets,' British Journal of Politics and International Relations. Early online. Copyright © 2020 The Author(s).

    Accepted author manuscript (Post-print), 740 KB, PDF document

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