Vol. 5 No. 1 (2020): 13th issue

Dear Visitor,

We are pleased to present the 13th issue of the International Journal of Civil Service Reform and Practice published by the Astana Civil Service Hub. This issue includes 4 articles prepared by scholars, focusing on governance, public administration and civil service development. It also includes 1 feature written by a practitioner, who is currently active in the private sector.

The first article is written by Professor Emeritus Chester Newland, a seasoned professional in public administration. This article considers major policies, practices and concerns, which, at various times – during the period of Reconstruction after the Civil War, after the Great Depression of 1929 and after the end of the Second World War in 1945 - have served as catalysts of change, at each of the three tiers of the American government system – federal, state and local. Such policies and practices have been instrumental in changing and expanding the scope of government and public administration, effectively reflecting the values of merit and expertise that came clearly into their own during these periods. However, the article goes beyond such periods by looking at current trends which have substantially affected the way public service works. These trends are the Digital Era Automation, whose effects are yet to be fully felt and powerful societal forces combating discrimination and exclusion, thus favouring diversity in both the composition and several facets of civil service structures and policies, along with the effects of privatisation, contracting-out, unionisation and politicisation of collective bargaining processes.

The second article is written by Professor Ali Farazmand of the School of Public Administration at the Florida Atlantic University. This article addresses four major questions and tries to answer them based on evidence and experience of the last three decades around the world, although the analysis is of limited scope. First, what trends have characterised the public administration reforms of the last three or four decades worldwide? Second, what are the rationales, nature and purposes of these reforms? Third, what have been the consequences or legacies of these major reforms? And fourth, what does the future hold and in what directions will public administration reforms be moving into the future? In doing this, the article presents the rationale for and approaches to public administration reforms followed by the theoretical grounding explaining or providing the intellectual foundations for reforms. it continues with a brief discussion of globalisation and public administration reforms and its meaning and consequences. It then presents a fairly extensive discussion of the major trends in public administration reforms with a focus on civil service reforms over a long period of time. This discussion focuses particularly on four decades of civil service and administrative reform in the United States and around the world – from Carter, to Reagan, the Bushes, Clinton, Obama and now Trump. It covers the rush to sweeping privatisation and the dismantling of the administrative state and the attempt to change the culture, as well as the structure of public administration with a market-based ideology and practice virtually everywhere in the world. The discussion focuses on these market-based ideologies, reforms and their impact and links them to the theoretical background as well as the rationales and approaches covered earlier in the article. The article closes with a few concluding remarks and points as food for thought. 

The third article in this issue is written by Ganna Gerasymenko, an economist and a Leading Researcher at the National Academy of Science of Ukraine. It examines the relationship between gender and corruption, and it proposes ways to effectively promote gender equality, women empowerment and corruption prevention. It also deals with the impact of corruption on men and women and it argues that the impact of corruption affects women and men differently, as they perceive corruption in different ways and have different personal experiences of everyday corruption. Hence, the analysis focuses on the different impact of corruption on men and women, taking into consideration demographic variables  such as age, rural/urban, geographic region, etc as well as secondary analysis of various international surveys, e.g. the Global Corruption Barometer, etc. The article concludes with recommendations on how to address this issue and include it into gender and corruption-related awareness raising campaign. 

The fourth article is prepared by Panos Liverakos, Editor-in-Chief of this Journal and Technical Advisor for the Astana Civil Service Hub. The article considers the role and contribution of the governance systems and institutional structures in four EU member states and how these systems and structures responded to the most recent economic and financial crisis. First, it briefly presents the type and mix of policies these countries adopted and implemented in their attempt to alleviate the adverse effects of the economic and financial crisis of 2008. It then assesses whether the quality of governance systems and institutional structures played a role in the degree to which the mix of policies adopted and implemented were successful. It appears that the policy responses to crisis may have been strongly influenced by the state of sophistication of institutional structures and quality of governance systems in place at the start and throughout the crisis. 

The feature included in this issue is prepared by Virgo Riispapp, managing director of Thorgate, an IT and innovation company based in Estonia. Its principal premise is that the challenges of managing people remain the same and so do the principles, whether it is a public or a  private organisation. it also takes the view that that quantity of information available determines the quality of decision making at any organisation. Thus, the company equips its team with information and knowledge in order to inspire them and keep everyone aligned with the organisational, team and personal goals. Exercising practices that contribute to people’s development is an investment in terms of time, planning and money. However, as the results which come in the form of an extremely talented team, improved work efficiency and great feedback make it worth it. All of it.

Enjoy reading!

Panos Liverakos

Published: 2020-02-29