Governance: An international journal of policy, administration and institutions

Should civil servants be cheerleaders for policy?

Public servants in Westminster systems used to take anonymity for granted.  Now, says Dennis Grube, they are expected to “demonstrate a new level of enthusiasm when explaining or justifying government policy to the public.” Grube examines how four countries have adjusted rules to account for the new role of senior public servants.  In three countries — Canada, Australia, and New Zealand — new practices are not fundamentally at odds with traditional Westminster practices.  But the United Kingdom may be a different case, in which civil servants find it hard to resist pressure to enter the political fray.  Read the article.

Promiscuously partisan?  The pressures on Westminster public servants were discussed in a widely cited 2012 Governance article by Peter Aucoin.  Aucoin said that New Public Management reforms had actually caused the emergence of a “New Political Governance” in which public servants were pressured to become “promiscuously partisan.”  Read the article.

Written by Governance

September 7, 2015 at 10:57 am

Posted in Uncategorized


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