The styles of civil service systems

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29 Citations (Scopus)


The chapter clarifies the nature of a civil service system through its constituent elements, and then explores civil service styles and associated cases. A civil service style is a mode of operating derived from a composite of rules, structures, relationships, and culture. Four clusters of countries are examined that exemplify different styles associated with administrative traditions. Following an era characterised by changing civil service systems because of Europeanisation, internationalisation, and economic crisis, the question is raised as to what extent traditional styles have been modified by incorporating features reflecting managerialism, politicisation, and neo-Weberianism. In these dynamic contexts new composite styles emerge raising questions about hybridisation, tensions between components, path dependence where change is modest, and the impact on policy roles, a core component of civil service systems. Finally, there is consideration of the implications of changing civil service systems for policy styles.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationThe Routledge Handbook of Policy Styles
EditorsMichael Howlett, Jale Tosun
Place of PublicationUnited Kingdom
Number of pages11
ISBN (Electronic)9780429286322
ISBN (Print)9780367251437
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jan 2021


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