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date: 23 January 2021

Abstract and Keywords

This chapter examines international debates over civil service accountability. It begins with early twentieth-century theories of state forms of politically neutral public accountability from the bureaucracy to the political executive. It ends with multiple forms of accountability within and outside of government reflecting international experience about the limits of any one single model of civil service accountability. The bulk of the chapter maps out the many analytical frameworks now being used to measure civil service accountability. Analysts have been engaged in important academic and policy debates over the competing merits of many forms of accountability, including social accountability and whistle blowing. The chapter examines the leading analytical versions which attempt to balance the harms minimized by systemic accountability with the benefits promoted through official responsibility for greater official discretion. There is no magic solution, reflecting that civil servants themselves have no preferred model of accountability.

Keywords: Civil service, The state, Neutrality, Accountability, Responsibility, Discretion, Political executive, Social accountability, Whistle blowing

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