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Decentralizing The Civil Service

This volume is concerned with the civil services of the United Kingdom, examining their characteristics and trends since 1970. It provides a map of the British civil service beyond Whitehall, giving an individual country-by-country analysis of the civil services of the UK. It considers the implications of the changing nature of the civil services for our understanding of British governance, especially in the context of the public sector management reforms of the 1980s and 1990s and the impact of constitutional change (chiefly devolution) since 1998. Given that devolution has been characterized as a process rather than an event, the book brings to bear evidence of how existing longstanding differences within some parts of British public administration may come to be replicated elsewhere in the UK. The authors also explore two controversial propositions. First they ask whether Britain is moving from the unitory, strong executive of the "Westminster model" to a "differentiated polity" characterized by institutional fragmentation. Second, they consider whether an unintended consequence of recent changes is a 'hollowing out of the state'. Is the British executive losing functions downwards to devolved governments and special-purpose bodies and outwards to regional offices and agencies with a resulting loss of central capacity? Substantial empirical data (both quantitative and qualitative) has been amassed here in order to give answers to these questions.
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Table of Contents

IntroductionThe differentiated polityNorthern IrelandScotlandWalesEnglandthe government offices of the regionsThe differentiated polity revisitedBibliographyIndex.

About the Author

R. A. W. Rhodes is Professor of Politics (Research) at the University of Newcastle-upon-Tyne.Dr Paul Carmichael is a Senior Lecturer in Public Administration at the University of Ulster, Northern Ireland.Dr Janice McMillan is a Senior Lecturer in Public Policy at Northumbria University.Andrew Massey is Professor of Government at the University of Portsmouth.

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