In this provocative new study, Paul du Gay makes a compelling case for the continuing importance of bureaucracy. Taking inspiration from the work of Max Weber, du Gay launches a staunch defence of `the bureaucratic ethos' and highlights its continuing relevance to the achievement of social order and good government in liberal democratic societies. Through a comprehensive engagement with both historical and contemporary critiques of bureaucracy and a careful examination of the policies of organizational change within the public services today, du Gay develops a major reappraisal of the so-called `traditional' ethic of office. In doing so he highlights the ways in which many of the key features of bureaucratic conduct that ca

Separate and Distinct Personae: Bureaucrats and Politicians

Separate and distinct personae: Bureaucrats and politicians

We are placed in various orders of life, each of which is subject to different laws.

Max Weber

The drive should be to find people who can show added value, not ask clever questions.

Grade 2 civil servant quoted in the Oughton Report (1993)

Contemporary discourses of administrative reform in the public sector have a lot to say about the respective role and duties of politicians and bureaucrats in government. Underpinning many of the contemporary criticisms of public administration they articulate is an assumption that these two crucial participants in the practice of government had got their roles a little too blurred, with negative consequences for, amongst many other things, the achievement of policy objectives, efficient ...

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