The State at Work, Volume 1

The State at Work, Volume 1

Public Sector Employment in Ten Western Countries

Edited by Hans-Ulrich Derlien and B. Guy Peters

Representing the most extensive research on public employment, this volume explores the radical changes that have taken place in the configuration of national public services due to a general expansion of public employment that was followed by stagnation and decreases. Part-time employment and the involvement of women also increased as a component of the public sector and were linked to the most important growth areas such as the educational, health care and personal social services sectors. The two volumes that make up this study shed important insight on these changes.

Chapter 8: Working for the Government in Spain: From Authoritarian Centralism to Democratic Political Devolution

Carlos R. Alba and Carmen Navarro

Subjects: economics and finance, public sector economics, politics and public policy, public policy


Carlos R. Alba and Carmen Navarro Since the 1960s, Spain has undergone dramatic political and economic change, commencing with the modernizing strategies of the new technocrat advisers in Franco’s government, followed by the successful political transition to democracy in the late 1970s and the extension of the welfare state under the socialist government in the 1980s and, more recently, the policies of vigorous privatization at the end of the 1990s. This chapter traces the concomitant changes in public employment, focusing in particular on the extensive political decentralization that has accompanied the process of change. Any analysis of public employment in Spain must make reference to Spanish ‘public administrations’ (plural). The machinery of government is organized into a complex administrative network comprising: ● ● ● ● ● central administration, frequently referred to as ‘state administration’; peripheral administration, referring to the central administration presence in the several territories; institutional administration, comprising the public companies and autonomous bodies linked to specific ministries; regional administration, denoting the 17 new political actors in democratic Spain; and local administration (Ayuntamientos and Diputaciones). The newly-created regional level of government has emerged during more than 20 years of a process of transition and democratic consolidation. The country is now divided into 17 Autonomous Communities (ACs) and two Autonomous Cities (Ceuta and Melilla) in Northern Africa, all with their own political and bureaucratic structures. At the same time, the municipalities are undergoing a democratic revitalization. These new 196 Working for the government in Spain 197 political arrangements enhance participation and decentralization and are...

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