Unlike most public servants, top administrators – those who manage thousands of personnel and oversee millions of dollars in public spending – are appointed by the head of government. At the Pleasure of the Crown is a detailed exploration of this central but overlooked aspect of governing.
Christopher A. Cooper analyzes the appointment of deputy ministers in Canada’s provincial bureaucracies over the last century. As the nature of governance has shifted – from limited government to welfare state and into the contemporary era of managerialism – governments have looked for different qualities in those who occupy top bureaucratic posts. Partisan loyalty was replaced by candid advice, and ultimately by feverish devotion to the policy agenda. Throughout, turnover among bureaucratic elites has remained highly political.
At the Pleasure of the Crown illuminates the historical balance of power between elected politicians and appointed bureaucrats, as well as the consequences for the integrity of Canadian public institutions.
1 To the Victor Go the Spoils: Traditional Explanations for Bureaucratic Turnover
2 Public Service Bargains: A New Model of Bureaucratic Turnover
3 Testing Public Service Bargains: A Descriptive Assessment of Bureaucratic Turnover
4 A Closer Look at Bureaucratic Turnover: Controlling for Alternative Causes
5 The Politics of Bureaucratic Turnover: Politicians’ Motivations
Notes; References; Index
Christopher A. Cooper is an associate professor of public management at the University of Ottawa. His research investigates the complex relationship between politics and administration and has been published in a variety of leading periodicals, such as Public Administration, Governance, and Parliamentary Affairs.