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 11: Representative bureaucracy in the United Kingdom

Rhys Andrews

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


To date, comparatively little research has evaluated the representativeness of UK public organizations. Although researchers in the UK have surveyed equal opportunities in the national workforce (e.g. Mason, 2003), debated the effects of New Public Management (NPM) on female workers in public services (e.g. Newman, 2002) and considered ways in which public organizations can manage diversity (e.g. Miller, 2009), workforce representativeness has received scant attention. Thus, although equality and diversity in the public sector workplace has been of high salience in the policy and politics of the UK for more than a decade (e.g. Office of the Deputy Prime Minister, 2003; Civil Service, 2008), little is actually known about the levels of representation of women and minority ethnic groups within public organizations; still less about the potential determinants of variations in the levels of representation. In this chapter, variations in the representation of women and ethnic minorities across UK central government departments and English local governments are examined. At the central level, the civil service now has a long history of concern with policies to promote equal opportunities in employment (Brimelow, 1981).

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