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Specialists and generalists in British central government : A political debate

Judge, David (1981) Specialists and generalists in British central government : A political debate. Public Administration, 59 (1). pp. 1-14. ISSN 0033-3298

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Abstract

The debate over the position of the generalist in British central government has been long-running and reassuring in its conformity to set lines of thought. Traditionally, the spotlight has focused on the higher civil servant whilst the generalist politician has been left in the penumbra of the discussion. The intention of this article is to take an overview of the generalist-specialist controversy in order to examine the political framework which makes the continued pre-eminence of the generalist in Whitehall and Westminster unusual in terms of organization theory while at the same time predictable in terms of the British constitutional and political environment. An examination of the contradictions between the requirements of organization theory on the one hand and those of political convention on the other may help to explain the continued pre-eminence of the generalist in central government.

Item type: Article
ID code: 29618
Keywords: British government, British politics, Whitehall, Westminister, Political science (General), Public Administration, Sociology and Political Science
Subjects: Political Science > Political science (General)
Department: Faculty of Humanities and Social Sciences (HaSS) > School of Government and Public Policy > Politics
Related URLs:
    Depositing user: Pure Administrator
    Date Deposited: 31 Mar 2011 18:41
    Last modified: 05 Sep 2014 08:00
    URI: http://strathprints.strath.ac.uk/id/eprint/29618

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