The more I write on this subject, the more conscious I am of my debt to other writers. Once again, I record my gratitude to Anthea Bennett and John Barnes for allowing me to attend their seminars and for offering advice and encouragement; to Professor George Jones, Professor Peter Hennessy and Professor Rod Rhodes, on whose work I have drawn heavily; and to colleagues at the Institute for Contemporary British History, notably Dr Peter Caterall and Dr Michael Kandiah, who have done much to foster academic debate on the subject.
I have gone out of my way in this edition to draw on the international comparative literature becoming available on cabinet studies. In particular I must acknowledge my heavy reliance on the work of a consortium of Western European academics convened by Professors Blondel and Muller-Rommel, and hope that I have done something to draw their scholarship into the insular study of the central executive in Britain. To these and the many other writers whose works I have pillaged I must record my apologies and thanks. I take responsibility for all translations from original languages.
I am grateful to the editors of Political Studies, Parliamentary Affairs, Contemporary Record and Politics Review, in whose pages certain sections of this book originally appeared. I am also grateful to have been given the opportunity to test ideas in this book at Peter Hennessy’s seminar on Premiership and Cabinet at Queen Mary and Westfield College, at the United Services College, Greenwich, and—on numerous occasions—at John Barnes’ seminar at the LSE.
I have made extensive use of the admirable Westminster City Libraries, the Public Records Office at Kew, the British Newspaper Library and the Treasury and Cabinet Office Library, and am indebted to the helpfulness and patience of their staff. David Wilkinson has been helpful far beyond the call of duty. I am grateful to Mark Kavanagh and Goober Fox of Routledge, who saw this revised edition through to publication.