The State at Work, Volume 2

The State at Work, Volume 2

Comparative Public Service Systems

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 1: Introduction

Hans-Ulrich Derlien and B. Guy Peters

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


Hans-Ulrich Derlien and B. Guy Peters It is the aim of the study The State at Work to take stock of the historical development of public services, shed light on employment in the most important public task areas and illuminate the distribution of public employment between national and sub-national governments. We seek in addition to analyse in depth, special dimensions of public service systems such as part-time and female employment, ethnic and language representativeness, the social stratification of systems including the situation of administrative elites, and finally the way public service systems in the ten countries under scrutiny are managed. As set out in the introduction to Volume I, our work is informed by modern concerns regarding the so-called ‘waning of the state’, the emergence of the concept of ‘governance’ and the impact of the New Public Management (NPM) reform agenda. The summary chapter to the Volume I set of country reports draws tentative comparative conclusions regarding the above concerns. The contributions in this second volume elaborate upon these dimensions in detail comparing the situation in the ten countries under scrutiny. PROJECT DESIGN In selecting the countries represented here, we started with two basic considerations. First, we found it necessary from the beginning to compare federal and unitary states. Our reasoning was, among other more obvious typological interests, that the degree of centralization might induce different management challenges that would have a bearing on the reform inclinations in national governments. Federal states represented here are the USA, Germany,...