The Institute of Prime Minister and the Future of the Party-Political System of Great Britain

The Institute of Prime Minister and the Future of the Party-Political System of Great Britain

Khakhalkina E.V.,

Professor, National Research Tomsk State University,

elibrary_id: 537530 | ORCID: 0000-0002-1747-163X |

DOI: 10.17976/jpps/2020.03.13

For citation:

Khakhalkina E.V. The Institute of Prime Minister and the Future of the Party-Political System of Great Britain. – Polis. Political Studies. 2020. No. 3. P. 181-191. (In Russ.).

The study was carried out in framework of a grant of the D.I. Mendeleev Foundation supported by the TSU Competitiveness Enhancement Program for 2019.


The article contains reflections on a number of the most important political issues raised in the book of Nataliya K. Kapitonova “British Prime Ministers. Political Portraits”. At the center of this work are figures of seven heads of government, beginning with Edward Heath, with the direct assistance of whom the country became a member of the European Community on the third attempt, and ending with Theresa May, who unsuccessfully tried to get approval for an agreement on withdrawal from the European Union agreed with Brussels. The author of the article, when analyzing this work, focuses on a number of debatable issues that have emerged on the agenda of the political and international life of the United Kingdom against the background of lengthy agreements on Brexit, both with the European Union and within the country. Among such problems are the rapid transformation in the party-political system of the United Kingdom, the preferences of the electorate, the changing role of parliament in relations with the Prime Minister, and the growing importance of the very figure of the head of government. To this should be added the problem of the separation of elites from ordinary citizens, which manifested itself in the inability of the UK’s political establishment both to assess the real chance for Brexit supporters to win when voting on June 23rd 2016, and to hear public demands for changes in the political course. The events following the referendum related to the long and painful period of negotiations on the “divorce deal” and the confrontation of the Cabinet and the House of Commons are not properly comprehended by either the political or the expert community, both in the UK and abroad. It seems that it is possible to more deeply understand and evaluate these scenes in all their diversity and complexity through analyzing the functionality of the Prime Minister’s post in a long historical dynamic, using the example of solving the most acute domestic and foreign policy issues for Great Britain.


Great Britain, Prime Minister, Parliament, party-political system, Brexit.


Applebaum A. 2017. Britain After Brexit: A Transformed Political Landscape. – Journal of Democracy. Vol. 28. No. 1. P. 53-58.

Blick A., Jones G. 2010. The Power of the Prime Minister. Policy Papers. H&P. URL: (accessed 24.03.2020).


Fox K. 2014. Watching the English. The Hidden Rules of English Behavior. (Russ. ed.: Foks K. Angliya i anglichane. O chem molchat putevoditeli. Moscow: RIPOL Classic Publ.)

Kapitonova N.K. 2017. Britanskie prem’er-ministry. Politicheskie portrety [British Prime Ministers. Political portraits]. Moscow: Mezhdunarodnye otnosheniya Publ. (In Russ.) 

Content No. 3, 2020

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