Meaning of CIVIL SERVICE in English

the body of government officials who are employed in civil occupations that are neither political nor judicial. In most countries the term refers to employees selected and promoted on the basis of a merit and seniority system, which may include examinations. the body of government officials who are employed in civil occupations that are neither political nor judicial. In most countries it refers to employees selected and promoted on the basis of a merit and seniority system, which may include examinations. The civil service is a professional body of individuals employed by the state in an administrative capacity. Ideally, it is a nonpolitical body whose members serve in the military, constabulary, ministerial, or diplomatic branches of government. Civil servants are generally regarded as experts in public affairs and administration and are often utilized as neutral advisers by those responsible for state policy. Although the role of the civil service is not to make official decisions, it can assist in their implementation. The civil service is structured in standard bureaucratic fashion with a fixed hierarchy of positions extending from lower offices to a superior command. Each position maintains specific powers and responsibilities; individuals can work their way up the hierarchy through promotion. The origins of civil service can be traced back to the ancient Middle Eastern river civilizations whose needs for civil organization presaged the complex bureaucracies of the ancient Egyptians and Greeks. With the Roman Empire came a highly sophisticated network of administrative offices, which was later adopted by the Roman Catholic Church. All branches of government were run by individual hierarchies, with each headed by an official of the state. The Chinese civil service (q.v.), founded by the Han dynasty in the 2nd century BC, survived until 1912; entrance into the civil service was gained by passing stringent examinations that emphasized knowledge of Chinese classics, but they were also designed to evaluate practical skills. The basis for modern civil services dates back to 17th- and 18th-century Prussia and the electors of Brandenburg. These electors, who were later to become the kings of Prussia, strengthened the army and centralized the government to ensure maximum stability. Special government agents were sent to the provinces to help implement crown policy; they were later absorbed into an official civil service. At first these civil servants were involved only with military matters, but their responsibilities soon extended to civil affairs. The recruitment and installation of civil servants was formalized in the General Code of 1794, the principles of which are still applicable in modern times. Similar efforts in bureaucratization were made by France, Great Britain, and the United States in the 18th and 19th centuries. Great Britain's efforts to organize an effective bureaucracy began during its involvement in governing India during the late 1700s. Eventually the tenets of the British civil service in India formed the basis for a similar body at home. In the United States, civil service recruitment under the patronage system gave way to the creation of the U.S. Civil Service Commission after 1883. The successor agencies of the commission continue to control entry to federal positions through examinations and the merit system. The revolutions of the early 20th century led to great changes in the civil services of present-day Communist nations. After destroying the traditional structures of the tsarist regime, the Communist Party in Russia was initially opposed to the idea of a strong administrative body, but eventually it established the Soviet Commission and an efficient civil service based on the classic German and French systems. Although Communist China was at first wary of creating an elite bureaucracy, it adapted its long tradition of strong administrative organization to the task of solving the country's pressing economic problems. Since the times when officials were appointed from the monarch's personal favourites, senior civil servants have never held secure positions. (The most extreme example is the United States, where senior officials ordinarily change with each new administration.) Strict guidelines for entry into the lower-ranked positions were established in Europe during the 19th century to minimize political favouritism and ensure a wide range of knowledge and skills in the civil services. Competition has traditionally been involved in the appointment of civil servants, often in the form of formal examinations or interviews. Additional reading There are few general comparative studies on civil services. The important comparative works in the prewar period are Herman Finer, Theory and Practice of Modern Government, rev. ed. (1949, reprinted with a new introduction, 1970); Ernest Barker, The Development of Public Services in Western Europe, 16601930 (1944, reissued 1966); Leonard D. White (ed.), The Civil Service in the Modern State (1930), and The Civil Service Abroad: Great Britain, Canada, France, Germany (1935). The postwar comparative studies include Poul Meyer, The Administrative Organization: A Comparative Study of the Organization of Public Administration (1957); Edward C. Page, Political Authority and Bureaucratic Power: A Comparative Analysis (1985); and B. Guy Peters, The Politics of Bureaucracy, 2nd ed. (1984). For a wider discussion of public employment, including local and regional government officials and employees in public enterprises and health services, as well as a survey of the growth in public employment since the middle of the 19th century, see Richard Rose et al., Public Employment in Western Nations (1985). For a comparative public policy analysis, see Arnold J. Heidenheimer, Hugh Heclo, and Carolyn Teich Adams, Comparative Public Policy: The Politics of Social Choice in Europe and America, 2nd ed. (1983). Two classic works that established the modern theory of the relations between civil servants and the state are Rudolf Gneist, Der Rechtsstaat (1872); and Lon Duguit, Law in the Modern State (1919, reprinted 1970; originally published in French, 1913).European countries with long traditions of civil service government have very considerable bibliographies on various aspects of public administration. Useful surveys of the administrative systems of the larger European nations are found in F.F. Ridley (ed.), Government and Administration in Western Europe (1979). The special aspect of control of the civil service is dealt with in Charles E. Freedeman, The Conseil d'tat in Modern France (1961; reprinted 1968). The political background to the struggle for civil servants' rights may be traced through Pierre d'Hughes, La Guerre des fonctionnaires (1912).The overall pattern of the federal civil service and administration in the United States is dealt with in Edward S. Corwin, The President: Office and Powers, 17871957: History and Analysis of Practice and Opinion, 5th rev. ed. (1984); and Marver H. Bernstein, The Job of the Federal Executive (1958, reprinted 1986). The special problem of the U.S. diplomatic service is the subject of a special enquiry presented in the Committee on Foreign Affairs Personnel, Personnel for the New Diplomacy: Report (1962). The relations between the civil service and Congress are studied in considerable depth in Joseph P. Harris, Congressional Control of Administration (1964, reprinted 1980). Laurence E. Lynn, Jr., Managing the Public's Business: The Job of the Government Executive (1981); Hugh Heclo, A Government of Strangers: Executive Politics in Washington (1977); and Herbert Kaufman, The Administrative Behavior of Federal Bureau Chiefs (1981), focus on the difficulties experienced by appointed executives in managing their agencies.General studies on the organization of executive power in former Communist countries include H. Gordon Skilling, The Governments of Communist East Europe (1966); and Ghita Ionescu, The Politics of the European Communist States (1967). A detailed study of the organization of authority in the former Soviet Union may be found in Michel Tatu, Power in the Kremlin (1969, originally published in French, 1967); this is contrasted with Chinese theory and practice in Donald W. Treadgold (ed.), Soviet and Chinese Communism: Similarities and Differences (1967). The internal organization and structure of government in China itself are discussed in Franz Schurmann, Ideology and Organization in Communist China, 2nd ed. (1968); and A. Doak Barnett, Cadres, Bureaucracy, and Political Power in Communist China (1967). See also Harry Harding, Organizing China: The Problem of Bureaucracy, 19491976 (1981).The special problems of civil services in new states are outlined in Kenneth Younger, The Public Service in New States: A Study in Some Trained Manpower Problems (1960, reprinted 1974); and in A.L. Adu, The Civil Service in New African States (1965), which can be compared with the same author's Civil Service in Commonwealth Africa: Development and Transition (1969). Interesting comparative, theoretical, and institutional studies on a broad front are found in Ralph Braibanti (ed.), Asian Bureaucratic Systems Emergent from the British Imperial Tradition (1966); John D. Montgomery and William J. Siffin (eds.), Approaches to Development: Politics, Administration and Change (1966); Ferrel Heady, Public Administration: Comparative Perspective, 3rd rev. ed. (1984); and Joseph La Palombara (ed.), Bureaucracy and Political Development, 2nd ed. (1963). Useful descriptions of the civil services of the European Communities and the United Nations can be found in Charles Debbasch (ed.), La Politique de choix des fonctionnaires dans les pays europens (1981). Brian Chapman Edward Bridges, 1st Baron Bridges Edward C. Page

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