Politics of Representative Bureaucracy


Politics of Representative Bureaucracy

Power, Legitimacy and Performance

9780857936004 Edward Elgar Publishing
Edited by B. Guy Peters, Maurice Falk Professor of Government, University of Pittsburgh, US, Patrick von Maravić, Professor Emeritus, University of Alberta, Canada and Eckhard Schröter, Professor, Zeppelin University, Germany
Publication Date: 2015 ISBN: 978 0 85793 600 4 Extent: 224 pp
What is the relationship between the composition of the public sector workforce and the nature of the society it serves? Taking a comparative and analytical perspective, the authoritative and accessible chapters illustrate the salience of representative politics in diverse societies. The book explores the wide variety of practice based on different political systems, administrative structures, and cultural settings, and discusses topical issues of public bureaucracies worldwide.

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Critical Acclaim
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Attempting to understand the politics of representation entails the close examination of the procedural, political, and conflicting nature of representation in public organizations. Shedding light on the study of public administration, this book provides a profound understanding of the causes, facets, and consequences of the politics of representation in the public sector.

Using a comparative and interdisciplinary approach, and recognizing the inherently political nature of public bureaucracies, expert contributors extend our understanding of this salient topic. Three areas are discussed, catalysing debate about representation in the public sector:

• The study of representative bureaucracy is explored, moving away from traditional viewpoints concerning passive and active representation, making room to capture additional ‘channels for the expression’ of interests

• Insight into the institutionalization and freezing of different types of representation is presented, drawing attention to factors that will help explain this variation among administrative systems in the future

• Lessons for theorizing public organizations are elaborated upon, to include how public sector bureaucracies play multiple and competing roles.

Providing comprehensive analysis of representation in public organizations, Politics of Representative Bureaucracy will benefit scholars and practitioners alike, from comparative public administration and management, government, public policy, and diversity studies.

Critical Acclaim
‘Given the ongoing discussions regarding the legitimacy of the public service in relation to both the rise of a multicultural society and of multi-level governance, representative bureaucracy remains of the utmost importance to public administration. This volume consists of apt and perceptive contributions to the debate made by authoritative writers in the field.’
– Frits van der Meer, Leiden University, the Netherlands
Contributors: R. Hambleton, T. Herrschel, K.J. Meier, T.S.M. Morton, B. Guy Peters, E. Schröter, B. van Gool, P. von Maravić


1. Delivering Public Services in Multiethnic Societies – The Challenge of Representativeness
B. Guy Peters, Eckhard Schröter and Patrick von Maravić

2. The Comparative Study of Representative Bureaucracy – An Analytical Framework
B. Guy Peters, Eckhard Schröter and Patrick von Maravić

3. The “Performance Claim’ of Representative Bureaucracy – Does Organization Matter?
Eckhard Schröter and Patrick von Maravić

4. Reconsidering Political and Bureaucratic Representation in Modern Government
Patrick von Maravić and B. Guy Peters

5. Representative Bureaucracy in a Cross-national Context: Politics, Identity, Structure and Discretion
Kenneth J. Meier and Tabitha S.M. Morton

6. Political Patronage, Machine Politics and Ethnic Representativeness in the Public Sector
B. Guy Peters

7. Migration and Urban Governance - Challenges for Democratic Legitimacy?
Tassilo Herrschel

9. Civic Leadership, and Local Politics in Multi-Cultural Cities
Robin Hambleton

10. From Plutocracy to Diversity. The (De-)Construction of Representative Bureaucracy Theory
Bas van Gool



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