The higher civil service and bureaucracy: A comparative analysis of Great Britain and the' United States
Madzivhandila, Lusani T
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This thesis is a comparative study of the higher civil service and bureaucracy of Great Britain and the United States. The study analyzes the political framework of the British and the United States systems of governance, examples of administrative reforms in the two systems, and the impact of education, socialization, recruitment, and civil servants as policy-makers. The methodology used in this study involves longitudinal as well as cross-national comparison. In dealing with differences between Great Britain and the United States, the study concentrates on the antecedent variables (constitution, political framework, cultural and administrative reform), intermediate variables (education, socialization and recruitment procedures), and the dependant variables (status of senior civil servants as policy- makers)In the first part of the study, the constitutional allocations of political power, history and the political system in which the higher civil service and bureaucracy operate are analyzed. The purpose here is to show that the bureaucracy and the civil service do not exist in a vacuum, they are influenced by constitutional, political and cultural constraints. The second part of the thesis deals with the education, socialization and the recruitment of the higher civil servants of Great Britain and the United States. This section points to the disproportionate representation of educated, high-status officials at the top of the political and administrative hierarchy of both countries. In Britain, however, there are social traditions built into the education system. The education and recruitment process concentrates on a general approach. In the United States, on the other hand, the specialist tradition dominates the civil service. Thus, United States higher civil servants are essentially specialists. The third part of the study analyzes the impact of education, socialization and recruitment processes on the role and performance of senior civil servants as policy-makers, in both societies. It is evident that civil servants are involved in the process of policy-making and, therefore, have a political role. This is due to the intricacies of bureaucracy and the fact that civil servants relative permanency, experience and expertise gives them a vast amount of knowledge that is relevant to policy-making. The conclusions suggest that the generalist approach applied in Great Britain hampers the capability of senior civil servants when it comes to negotiating with interest groups involved in policymaking. A specialist approach applied in the United Sates should be followed .