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Title: Ministers and 'can do' officials : modes of politicization in the Irish civil service
Author: Cormaic, Aodhán Mac
ISNI:       0000 0004 5370 9961
Awarding Body: Queen's University Belfast
Current Institution: Queen's University Belfast
Date of Award: 2015
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The thesis examines how the traditional dual role of the civil servant as both policy advisor and policy implementer may have been reprioritized, with the latter element of the dual role now receiving greater priority. The research, involving interviews with retired Secretaries General and retired Ministers, explores this issue in the context of the politicization of the civil service, an issue that has been extensively written about in other jurisdictions. Data collected during the interviews is examined in the context of two theoretical approaches; the Interpretive Approach to understanding politico-administrative relations and the Public Service Bargain framework. The thesis looks at the role of the 'can do' official in the politico-administrative relationship in Ireland to see if officials with a 'can do' attitude are being favoured by Ministers and whether, as has been claimed in the case of the British civil service, this leads to arguments which are not politically acceptable being suppressed prior to the submission of policy options to Ministers. It shows how the role of the civil servant is of importance to democratic legitimacy due to his/her potential willingness to participate in the consensus-reaching process and, in the process, promote his/her own self-interest rather than that of the public in general. The research explores with Ministers and civil servants alike the nature of their interaction and draws conclusions as to its impact on the policy-making process. In this context, therefore, and using the interaction between Ministers and 'can do' officials as a starting point, the thesis seeks to answer the following questions: • What, if any, evidence is there of politicization within the Irish civil service and what is the nature of this politicization?
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (D.Gov.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available