The success or failure of empires, nation-states, and city-states often rests on the relationship between bureaucracy and politicians. In this provocative and timely volume, editor Ali Farazmand examines the myriad relationships between politicians and bureaucrats and how they affect modern governance. This book is organized around the major themes of professionalism, bureaucracy, governance, and the relationship between career bureaucrats/higher civil servants and political appointees/politicians under presidential and parliamentary systems. After introducing the basic elements of bureaucracies in Part I, the book discusses the relations between bureaucrats and politicians in presidential systems in Part II as well as in parliamentary systems in Part III. This original and up-to-date book will fill a gap in the literature on the relationship between bureaucrats and politicians in modern governance and public administration. It can be used as a primary or supplementary text at the undergraduate and graduate level for those interested in public administration, comparative public policy, political science, and government.
Chapter 11: Getting on in Government: Political Priorities and Professional Civil Servants
Getting on in Government: Political Priorities and Professional Civil Servants
The relationship between bureaucrats and politicians goes to the heart of successful policy making in democratic government. Politicians are elected to office with a variety of commitments and pledges—sometimes inconsistent or impractical, always and necessarily designed to attract public support. Overnight, it becomes the responsibility of bureaucrats to play a major part in turning these promises into reality or, at any rate, a version of reality that somehow reflects credit on the politicians.
This chapter explores the contrasting perspectives from which politicians and civil servants in the United Kingdom deal with the business of government, and it points to an inherent paradox that the British system ...