Pub. date: 2011 | Online Pub. Date: October 04, 2011 | DOI: 10.4135/9781412994163 | Print ISBN: 9781412959636 | Online ISBN: 9781412994163| Publisher:SAGE Publications, Inc.About this encyclopedia
Ferdinand Müller-Rommel Leuphana
Cabinets are small organizational units within governments that consist of politicians who are responsible for the overall policy performance of the government. This entry first describes the history of cabinets and their functions under various forms of government. It then discusses a framework for the analysis of cabinets, which must consider the structural characteristics of the political system, the roles of political parties and of individual ministers, the behavior of the prime minister, and the power of the prime minister's office. Last, the entry describes important tasks for future research on cabinets worldwide. The notion of a cabinet derives from the designation “Cabinet Council,” first given in Britain by the king in 1622. The monarch counted on this inner core of privy counselors to legitimize his or her political decisions and thereby his or her duration in office. With the emergence of the modern state in the 19th century, monarchs ...