Representative Bureaucracy in Action

Representative Bureaucracy in Action

Country Profiles from the Americas, Europe, Africa and Asia

Edited by B. Guy Peters, Patrick von Maravić and Eckhard Schröter

Taking a comparative and analytical perspective, the authoritatively, yet accessibly written, country chapters show how salient the politics of representativeness have become in increasingly diverse societies. At the same time, they illustrate the wide variety of practice based on different political systems, administrative structures, and cultural settings.

Chapter 3: Representative bureaucracy in Canada

Luc Turgeon and Alain-G. Gagnon

Subjects: politics and public policy, international politics, public policy


Most studies of representative bureaucracy have tended to look at policies and programs adopted in the administrative structure of nation-states such as the United States or France as yardsticks. This chapter is slightly different in that it explores the politics of representative bureaucracy within a multinational and multilingual state, Canada. In addition to ensuring the representation of minority groups (women, gays and lesbians, and people with disabilities) and ethnic minorities (groups resulting from immigration), multinational states also have to ensure the representation of a third community, namely national minorities. In a multinational country such as Canada, ensuring that the public service is representative of the linguistic and ethno-cultural diversity of the population is not only a question of social justice and fairness: It is also a question of political stability and trust. Indeed, the public service is often a central locus of conflicts that sometimes characterize multinational states.

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