'Stretched but not snapped': a response to Russell & Serban on Retiring the 'Westminster Model'

Matthew Flinders, David Judge, R.A.W. Rhodes, Adrian Vatter

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

18 Citations (Scopus)
11 Downloads (Pure)


This article engages with Meg Russell and Ruxandra Serban's (2021) argument that the Westminster model is 'a concept stretched beyond repair' that deserves 'to be retired'. We examine the logic, theory and methods that led to such a powerful, potent and provocative argument. We suggest their approach may have inadvertently 'muddied' an already muddled concept. We assess the implications of 'muddying' for their conclusion that the Westminster model is, in essence, a dead concept in need of a decent funeral. We suggest the concept is 'stretched but not snapped' by developing a simple four-perspective broadening of the analytical lens. This approach aids understanding about what the concept covers, how it is operationalized and why it remains useful in comparative research.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)353-369
Number of pages17
JournalGovernment and Opposition
Issue number2
Early online date3 Nov 2021
Publication statusPublished - 30 Apr 2022


  • Westminster model
  • democracy
  • comparative politics
  • concepts
  • interpretivism
  • interpretivism, institutionalism


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