Table Of Contents
- About the author
- About the book
- This eBook can be cited
- The Civil Service and Political Influence: Balancing Neutral and Responsive Competence (B. Guy Peters)
- The future of the civil service: Blurring of boundaries, or the return of “Leviathan”? (Christoph Demmke)
- The Evolution of the Principle of the Separation of Politics and Administration: an Attempt at Conceptualization (Stanisław Mazur)
- The Process of Creating Civil Service in Poland in the Perspective of the New Institutionalism (Kaja Gadowska)
- Vicious Cycle. A 20 Years’ Perspective on the Changes in the Civil Service Model (Beata Springer)
- Polish Civil Service at the Time of Government Transition in the Fall of 2015: Opening Balance (Jacek Czaputowicz)
- Civil Service – Poland’s Experience in the Development of its Ethics and Ethos (Tomasz Barankiewicz)
- On Civil Service and the Codification of Professional Ethics (Aniela Dylus)
- Ethical by choice or obligation? Ethical management in the civil service in the light of the results of empirical research (Jolanta Itrich-Drabarek / Kamil Mroczka)
- The Ethical Dilemmas of Civil Service Employees (Mirosław Karwat)
- The civil service and the quality of administration (Magdalena Małecka-Łyszczek / Ambroży Mituś)
- Mentoring in the Civil Service (Ewa Maria Marciniak)
- Officials’ mobility. A review of selected solutions (United Kingdom, France, Poland, European Commission) (Łukasz Świetlikowski
- About the Contributors
- Series Index
The legal and social status, as well as the practical functioning of the civil service in a given country, says a lot about the nature and quality of democracy. A strong civil service is typical for a state of law with properly functioning institutions, while in the case of a façade democracy or the lack thereof, the civil service will also be characterized by numerous dysfunctions. This is why studies on the civil service, its functioning, and relations with the outside world (including politicians) fascinate many researchers who strive to grasp its essence and the sense of its operation.
The book that we are happy to present you with is the result of research on the civil service carried out by acknowledged international and national experts in the field who represent academia specializing in the topic. The end result was an international symposium entitled Służba cywilna w Polsce – 20 lat doświadczeń i perspektywy zmian (The civil service in Poland: 20 years of experience and the outlook for change) organized by the Faculty of Political Science and International Studies at the University of Warsaw and the Faculty of Public Economy and Administration at the Cracow University of Economics. The goal of the symposium was to summarise the studies on the transformations in the civil service systems in European and other countries, especially those pertaining to Anglo-Saxon culture. Just as importantly, the organizers of this event aimed to provoke deeper reflection on the process of establishing the civil service in Poland, especially against the background of the legislative changes introduced in late 2015/early 2016.
The studies that had been carried out and the speeches of the participants of the symposium were expanded into the texts that make up this publication. Some of these deal with conceptual issues while others relate to the practical aspects of the functioning of the civil service.
The publication comprises thirteen texts. The paper by B. Guy Peters entitled The Civil Service and Political Influence: Balancing Neutral and Responsive Competence was chosen to be first due to its theoretical nature. The author takes up one of the issues that have traditionally been addressed in studies on governance in democratic systems, namely political control over public administration. Peters links this issue with the autonomy and impartiality of officials on the one hand, and their responsiveness to politicians and public opinion on the other. The author points out that a civil service based on substantive competencies is usually perceived as the feature of good management. At the same time, the author highlights that some forms of its politicization may be beneficial for the quality of ← 7 | 8 → governance, e.g. due to the increased involvement of officials in the execution of the plans of their political superiors or the increased representativeness of public administration. Peters rightly points out that the essence and effects of the politicization of the civil service will not be understood unless the diverse forms of this phenomenon are distinguished and the institutional context and administrative tradition are included. According to Peters, due to this diversity, politicization may be beneficial for some civil service systems but negatively affect the quality of governance in others.
In the chapter entitled The Future of the Civil Service: Blurring of Boundaries, or the Return of “Leviathan”?, Christoph Demmke arguments convincingly that the civil service reforms carried out in different countries during the last few decades are a fascinating phenomenon that is worth thorough analysis. The author highlights that these reforms undermine the rules and mechanisms that have typically been associated with the traditional model of public administration; at the same time, their abundance, fragmentation, individualization and highly dynamic nature make it difficult to determine their consequences. Demmke argues that the fact that most countries of the European Union are abandoning traditional bureaucratic systems does not imply the return of “Leviathan”. At the same time, he dismisses the existence of a new, market-oriented model for the management of public affairs which would be universal and attractive enough to oust and replace other models. In highlighting the diversity and uncertain effects of the reforms, the author asks fascinating questions about the understanding of the rule of political neutrality and the responsiveness of public administration at the time of fragmentary and dynamic changes in the civil service systems of European countries.
In his paper entitled The Evolution of the Principle of the Separation of Politics and Administration: an Attempt at Conceptualization, Stanisław Mazur describes the nature and consequences of the evolution of the rule of the separation of politics and administration. He points out that the rule emerged in response to the dysfunctions of premodern administration, becoming one of the foundations of modern administration in a democratic state of law during the last decades, and also becoming increasingly contested. The shift is towards a revision of the initial assumptions and consequently towards the reorganization of the institutional order of the civil service that is based on this rule, and its rearrangement in the public administration system. The author argues that the traditional rule of political neutrality requires reinterpretation which should begin with the abandonment of the static and dialectic approach to the separation of politics and administration. It also seems vital to put it in a dynamic and interactive perspective. At the same time, this is associated with the need to adopt the axiom on the increasing ← 8 | 9 → complexity of public affairs, the growing number of “entangled problems” and the erosion of the linear logic of the social world.
In The Process of Creating Civil Service in Poland in the Perspective of the New Institutionalism, Kaja Gadowska points out that the decision to establish the civil service in Poland was based on the conviction of the political elites of that time that the professional, impartial and politically neutral performance of duties by public administration and its protection from political interference determined by political party interests must be guaranteed. The author notes that under the governments of the subsequent political parties, the civil service was at the heart of heated political disputes and the ruling parties attempted to appropriate it. The author also highlights the extent to which the real relations between politics and public administration are reflected in the formal provisions of the subsequent acts on the civil service. Gadowska concludes that political parties often try to curb the autonomy of public administration and subjugate it to party interests, what she believes is clearly reflected by the frequency and nature of the changes introduced in the act on the civil service.
In her paper entitled Vicious Cycle. A 20 Years’ Perspective on the Changes in the Civil Service Model, Beata Springer analyses the changes in the civil service corps during the last two decades, with particular emphasis on the changes introduced in 2016. The author notes that the cycle of political changes in Poland has been inextricably linked to the attempts to subjugate the civil service to each subsequent government and to politicize it. Springer points out that this was no surprise in the first years of political transformation, but the continuation of this trend after 20 years is puzzling and worrying. The author is critical of the most recent statutory changes, such as the elimination of competitive recruitment for senior civil service positions. The author concludes by stating that the political class behaves immaturely by treating the public service corps as a spoil that serves vested party interests.
In the subsequent chapter, Polish Civil Service at the Time of Government Transition in the Fall of 2015: Opening Balance, Jacek Czaputowicz takes up important issues concerning e.g. recruitment policy, appointments and officials’ privileges. The author notes that in accordance with the assumptions of the mid-1990s, appointed officials were to constitute 1/3 of the civil service corps. Twenty years after the adoption of the first act on the civil service, these officials comprise less than 7% of the corps. According to the author, the reduced number of appointments coupled with increased pay supplements for officials (associated with each successive rank) have been the primary reason for the dysfunction of the civil service. The author believes that the way to eliminate this dysfunction is ← 9 | 10 → by significantly increasing the number of appointed officials, while at the same time reducing officials’ supplements.
The next chapter written by Tomasz Barankiewicz, Civil Service – Poland’s Experience in the Development of its Ethics and Ethos is a critical assessment of the last 20 years of establishing ethical behaviours in the civil service in Poland. The author highlights the need for a comprehensive approach that includes an ethical infrastructure, staff, disciplinary responsibility, and values. At the same time, he describes an interesting phenomenon: the shift from traditional professional ethics towards “new” professional ethics. The former was based primarily on a catalogue of duties, and penal and disciplinary aspects regulated by hard law while the latter is based on the synthesis of various tools where ethics is just one of the elements. Barankiewicz shows that, in the dynamic social context, soft law that focuses on positive motivation is playing an increasingly important role in shaping ethical attitudes.
In the chapter entitled On Civil Service and the Codification of Professional Ethics, Aniela Dylus presents important reflections on professional ethics in the civil service. The author takes a look at the essence of the civil service and the associated paradoxes, especially those with ethical implications. The focus is mainly on the master/servant duality, i.e. the official’s bond with the state on the one hand and society on the other, and on the unattractiveness of servitude. According to the author, these paradoxes, which include being the master and being dependent are particularly apparent against the background of some trends in contemporary culture. These paradoxes are also responsible for the deficiencies of officials’ obligingness. The author also highlights the issue of codifying professional ethical standards in the civil service, showing the pros and cons and signalling the tendency to overestimate the significance of codes of ethics.
In Ethical by Choice or Obligation? Ethical Management in the Civil Service in the Light of the Results of Empirical Research, Jolanta Itrich-Drabarek and Kamil Mroczka formulate a number of important statements based on the results of empirical research. For example, the authors point to the fact that the introduction of even the most valuable ethical principles does not imply that these will be used. Their implementation in practice depends on several different factors, such as the way regulations are implemented and interpreted, the quality of training and knowledge management, or the promotion of ethical attitudes and behaviours. The authors argue that the establishment of the civil service in Poland should include consolidating common values and shaping uniform organizational culture. If this important postulate was carried out, every person employed in the civil service would understand the contents of the above-mentioned research, identify with the ← 10 | 11 → resulting values and follow these in their professional practice. While positively assessing the solutions concerning the principles of the civil service corps’ ethics, the authors highlight the need to clarify these issues.
In The Ethical Dilemmas of Civil Service Employees, Mirosław Karwat observes that a formalistic approach to the normative model of the civil service could mislead into believing that the only problems faced by officials are those of pragmatic nature: the barriers and difficulties associated with handling particular cases and decision making. In the author’s opinion, political factors expose the normatively cohesive model of the civil service to antinomies, disruptions, and deformations, which in turn leads to serious moral dilemmas in those civil service employees who wish to treat the rules of professional ethics seriously.
In The Civil Service and the Quality of Administration, Magdalena Małecka-Łyszczek and Ambroży Mituś focus on the quality of administration as an important determinant of meeting citizens’ needs, analysing the principles and factors that in their opinion contribute to the improvement of the quality of administration in the civil service. These include: the solutions that help to increase the competencies and professionalism of civil service staff, the influence of administrative culture, and the fulfilment of the principle of the right to good administration. The authors conclude that administrative culture is strongly conditioned axiologically.
The next chapter, Mentoring in the Civil Service by Ewa Marciniak focuses on the increasingly relevant issue of mentoring. The author points out that the solutions applied in business are increasingly present in the domain of officials, and mentoring is one of these. It is not commonly used but the wider use of mentoring could help reduce the dysfunctions which are of psychological origin but whose effects appear at the organization and management levels as well as in external relations. According to the author and as confirmed by study results, mentoring practices make the internal and external relations of an organization/office more efficient.
In Officials’ Mobility. A Review of Selected Solutions (United Kingdom, France, Poland, European Commission), Łukasz Świetlikowski argues that officials’ mobility is becoming an increasingly important element of HR policy in the civil service. The study results cited in the paper suggest that mobility is an important and multidimensional aspect of human resources management. The solutions regarding mobility allow to identify and educate administration leaders, ensure the appropriate allocation of human resources and favour rotation in positions that are prone to unethical or corruptive behaviours. The author also points out that mobility reduces the scale of “departmentation” in public administration and improves the attractiveness of working in the civil service. ← 11 | 12 →
The conclusions from the papers that make up this publication confirm that contemporary states need a civil service that is perceived as an efficient apparatus, one that manages specific economic processes, intervenes in the market in the face of economic crisis, watches over the internal security of the state, monitors the latest research in medicine, IT and automatic control, solves immigration problems, protects personal data and cyberspace on the Internet, and protects common interest.
As far as the future of the civil service in Poland is concerned, one may assume that the legal solutions adopted after 1989 could indicate both a search for the ideal model of the civil services as well as the serious confusion of the legislator who has treated the civil service either as an imposed pattern that had to be introduced due to the requirements of Poland’s EU accession, as a political spoil, or as an evil bureaucratic formation that executes procedures instead of the goals of a democratic state. The implementation of the solutions concerning the civil service undoubtedly consolidated the idea of the civil service among public opinion and caused public debate on the ethical standards and values in public administration, but was also associated with civil service corps members’ great helplessness regarding the changes introduced by each subsequent political team.
- ISBN (PDF)
- ISBN (ePUB)
- ISBN (MOBI)
- ISBN (Hardcover)
- Publication date
- 2018 (October)
- Civil service Public administration Ethics Officials Politicization Mentoring
- Berlin, Bern, Bruxelles, New York, Oxford, Warszawa, Wien. 2018. 278 p., 13 b/w ill., 9 b/w tab.