Book review: Civil servants v. elected officials

Civil servants can make decisions that are better for the long-term good of the country than elected officials can, right? A GovExec human resources and management column asks that question. In a new book, public management expert Alasdair Roberts explores the rise and limits of that way of thinking, which he dubs in the title, The Logic of Discipline (Oxford University Press, 2010). The basic premise is democracies like ours have turned much of the nation’s major decision-making authority over to professional bureaucrats. They fear politicians will make the wrong decisions because they’re too focused on their own reelections. In addition to handing power to professionals, democracies also have created a variety of laws, rules and regulations designed to constrain politicians from making bad choices.

These stories are part of our daily Dorobek Must Reads. Check out the full list of stories.

Comments