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'An Invidious Position? The Public Dance of the Promiscuous Partisan


Grube, DC, 'An Invidious Position? The Public Dance of the Promiscuous Partisan, The Political Quarterly, 85, (4) pp. 420-427. ISSN 1467-923X (2014) [Refereed Article]

DOI: doi:10.1111/1467-923X.12113


© The Author 2014.Public service mandarins were once largely anonymous, diligently wielding their great power behind the scenes while their political masters performed on the front stage. Things have changed. Today, civil service leaders are appearing publicly more often, in more places and to a wider range of audiences than ever before. This article examines the extent to which this decline in anonymity impacts on traditions of civil service impartiality within the Westminster system. It draws on the late Peter Aucoin's concept of 'promiscuous partisanship' to examine how contemporary mandarins in the United Kingdom, Canada and Australia face accusations of having compromised their impartiality by advocating for the policy agenda of the government of the day. The article argues that what has changed is not that civil service leaders have suddenly become partisan, but rather that they have become more 'public', allowing for perceptions of partisanship to emerge.

Item Details

Item Type:Refereed Article
Research Division:Human Society
Research Group:Policy and administration
Research Field:Policy and administration not elsewhere classified
Objective Division:Law, Politics and Community Services
Objective Group:Government and politics
Objective Field:Government and politics not elsewhere classified
UTAS Author:Grube, DC (Associate Professor Dennis Grube)
ID Code:99006
Year Published:2014
Web of Science® Times Cited:2
Deposited By:Arts, Law and Education
Deposited On:2015-03-11
Last Modified:2018-04-10

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