The Civil Service

The Civil Service

The Civil Service

The Civil Service

Synopsis

The British civil serive has changed dramatically during the 1980s and 90s. Old heirarchical structures have been broken down through a series of radical reforms. What remains is a central core that is concerned with policy making and peripheral agencies charged with the task of policy implementation. In this introductory textbook Keith Dowding provides a thorough analysis of the reforms that have shaped the civil service and assesses those changes in terms of the public choice and public management theories that underpin them. The book is divided into two sections with the first being concerned with managerial issues. The second part deals with the policy making process and the role of the civil service in the modern state. The key central chapter of the book examines the equivocal use of the term `efficiency', which has been used to justify the managerial changes. This is the first textbook which critically examines theories of bureaucracy together with an introductory and descriptive account of the civil service today.

Excerpt

I would like to thank Phil Cowley, Oliver James, George Jones, Desmond King, Sonia Mazey, Christopher Pollitt and Alan Ware for their written comments; each has contributed to at least one sentence. I would especially like to thank Anne Gelling who has read the entire manuscript at least twice and forced me to rewrite large chunks of it. I would like to thank the civil servants both in Whitehall and Brussels who agreed to be interviewed. I am indebted to the Nuffield Foundation who funded my trip to Brussels (Grant no SOC/181(2243)) which contributed enormously to Chapter 7; they also funded the data collection exercise (Grant no SOC/100(302)) which contributes to the argument in Chapter 8. I would like to thank Norman Cooke and Helen Cannon who collected most of that data. This short book has taken much longer to write than it should have done, which during a period of rapid change caused me more headaches than I care to tell. I hope the factual information was correct at the time of going to press but believe that in this regard some errors remain. I believe that my opinions were correct at the time of going to press, but rather hope some are not.

K.M.D.
Barton, Oxford . . .

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