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Reforming the State With, Without or Against its Servants?

A reform of the state that would bring about a real and lasting transformation
of the structures and the behaviours that influence the costs
and the performance of the public sector is possible only with the support
of civil servants. Yet, there are few successful examples of an
involvement of civil servants in the reform process. Three hypothesises
are put forward to explain this paradox. First, the extreme fragmentation
of the French public administration between numerous corps of
civil servants and multiple levels makes it necessary for the reformer to
come to terms with many different interests that are all the more bitterly
defended that they are institutionalized. Second, the current process of
dialogue with the civil servants – or what stands for it – is a highly centralized
ritual, dominated by a highly politicized encounter with the
unions, instead of being the decentralized dialogue mobilizing the
various levels of management that exists elsewhere. Third, the negotiation
about the reform occurs in a vacuum instead of being backed by a
practice of ongoing debate and it therefore crystallizes many aspirations
and frustrations instead of leading to a dispassionate discussion of the
proposed changes.


Référence électonique : Élisabeth LULIN, "Reforming the State With, Without or Against its Servants?", Pouvoirs, revue française d’études constitutionnelles et politiques, n°117, 117 - Serviteurs de l’État, p.55-70 . Consulté le 2022-05-24 01:20:23 . URL : https://revue-pouvoirs.fr/Reforming-the-State-With-Without.html