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 14: Bureaucratic representation in Israel

Moshe Maor

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


Gender and minority equity in the Israeli civil service provide a unique case study. This is because Israel is the most ideological of all contemporary democracies (i.e. Zionism is the dominant ideology); social architecture is widely accepted as a government task (e.g. immigration absorption, dispersion of population, and so on); government is in charge of making critical choices as it faces direct threats to the survival of the state and society, and there is a scarcity of strategic thinking. As well, Israel has a highly fragmented political system, no professional civil service elite compensating for the weakness of the political system, and political structures, processes, and cultures that inhibit administrative reforms (Dror, 2002, pp. vii–x). Indeed, no comprehensive reform of the Israeli administrative system has been undertaken since the establishment of the State of Israel in 1948.1 A few committees were established and reports published – the Kubersky Commission Report (The Kubersky Commission, 1989) being the most wide-ranging – but aside from a very few islands of excellence and professionalism, the civil service system as a whole remains fragmented, politicized, and devoid of a sense of identity, cohesiveness and esprit de corps.

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