Staff cutback as a strategy of the policy of the withdrawal of government : an analysis of the Motherland party governments' strategy of staff cutbacks in the Turkish civil service (1984-1990)
In the face of fierce criticisms against the role, size, and performance of government, searching strategies to limit the role and size and improve the performance of government, especially of the civil service, has been one of the significant goals of many governments all over the world since the early 1980s. Within this framework, staff cutback is one the strategies of the policy of the withdrawal of government since the staffing aspect of government is considered as one of the significant elements of the problem of government size and performance. Criticisms against the size and widespread dissatisfaction with the performance of the Turkish Civil Service lead us to analyse the staffing aspect of the Turkish Civil Service. The Motherland Party (MP) Governments under the premiership of Turgut Ozal aimed to have a small size and rational-productive bureaucracy with the effect of New Right ideology. In this thesis, the staff cutback strategy pursued by the MP Governments in the Turkish Civil Service in the period of 1984-1990 has been examined. Although the MP Governments shared similar ideological aims and followed similar policies adopted by the conservative governments in many developed Western countries, they could not cutback the staff size of the Turkish Civil Service in both absolute and relative terms. The resistance of the traditional bureaucratic elite and the existence of civil service guarantees, which were the legacies of the bureaucratic ruling tradition, as well as the populist policies pursued in the face of increased political competition towards the end of period were the most significant obstacles to the success of the MP Governments. However, the overall effects of the MP governments on the growth of the Turkish Civil Service was much restrictive than the previous governments except the Technocratic Government of the Military Regime. Therefore, it is not possible to name this period as a period of cutbacks but it can be considered as the restraint years since the rate of increase in the Turkish Civil Service staff was lowered significantly.