Political anthropology and civil service reform: prospects and limits
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What lessons about public sector reform can be learnt from using political anthropology to study governance reform? What are the strengths and weaknesses of such an approach? I contrast the everyday working experience reported in Rhodes (2011) with the core themes of civil service reform; namely evidence-based policy making, managerialism, and choice. I use five axioms for clarity of exposition: coping and the appearance of rule, not strategic planning; institutional memory, not internal structures; storytelling, not evidence-based policy; contending traditions and stories, not just managerialism; the politics of implementation, not top-down innovation and control.
Policy and Politics
Copyright 2013 The Policy Press. This is a post-peer-review, pre-copy edited version of an article published in Policy and Politics. The definitive publisher-authenticated version, Political anthropology and civil service reform: prospects and limits, Vol. 41(4), pp. 481-496, 2013 is available online at: dx.doi.org/10.1332/030557312X655684
Policy and Administration not elsewhere classified