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 4: The U.S. Civil Service: 1883-1993 (R.I.P.)
The U.S. Civil Service: 1883-1993 (R.I.P.)
This chapter is about the political lynching of the U.S. civil service, which, for practical purposes, has now died because its members can no longer be expected to perform the tasks originally assigned them. The civil service was not invented in 1883 solely to improve government “efficiency,” a widely publicized myth designed to obscure history. The original mission of the civil service was to be the ethical watchdog, the moral guardian of governmental decision making. No, the Founding Fathers did not envision a professional administrative corps when they produced the U.S. Constitution, but neither did they anticipate the political party system that stood outside the constitutional framework, corrupting those within it. By the ...