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date: 04 June 2020

Abstract and Keywords

Spanish public administration belongs to the Rechtsstaat tradition in which the state is society’s driving force and relies on a procedural and legalistic system to engage with citizens. This chapter argues that this tradition has an impact on the state capacity, in particular in the coordination, delivery, and analytical functions of central government, whose role shifted towards coordination and regulation after the devolution of powers to the regions. The global economic and financial crisis of the mid-2010s forced the core executive to implement strategies to obtain efficiencies in service delivery. But the administrative system suffers from enduring problems of politicization, inadequate organizational design that is procedure oriented rather than focusing on outputs and outcomes, and the lack of a competency framework to support civil servants in the use of a more managerial style of designing and delivering policies and services.

Keywords: state capacity, central government, civil service, core executive, coordination

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