American Public Service: Radical Reform and the Merit System, 1st Edition (Hardback) book cover

American Public Service

Radical Reform and the Merit System, 1st Edition

By James S. Bowman, Jonathan P. West


296 pages | 30 B/W Illus.

Purchasing Options:$ = USD
Hardback: 9780849305344
pub: 2006-10-04
eBook (VitalSource) : 9781315097336
pub: 2017-09-25
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Understanding the effects of radical change on public personnel systems is critically important both now and in the future to all those interested in the quality of American democracy. Civil service reform is occurring at all levels of government both in the United States and abroad.

American Public Service: Radical Reform and the Merit System is a collection of papers that examine the innovations, strategies, and issues found in the contemporary civil service reform debate. Offering diverse perspectives from expert contributors, this book presents matters concerning radical reform and the merit system at the federal, state, and local levels of government.

This volume offers fresh insight into the effects of merit system changes on employees. Divided into four sections, this book…

· Examines a portrait of contemporary reforms from across the country and concepts to interpret those data

· Addresses whether the relaxation of civil service protections against partisan intrusion will result in corruption

· Provides examples of ongoing changes and analyzes survey data from state managers

· Discusses a variety of key issues, such as the impact on racial inequality of moving from a protected class employment status to an unprotected at-will relationship

The book provides a baseline of data on reforms as well as an account of their current promises and pitfalls. Covering topics ripped from the headlines, this text also identifies pressing issues and makes suggestions for the future. Offering a variety of methodological approaches, it is ideal for all those interested in effective governance.


“Until now, however, no single reference has offered a comprehensive, empirical selection of the latest work on radical reform and the merit system. …a fresh examination of the innovations, strategies, and issues found in the contemporary civil service reform debate.”

, December Issue, 2006

Table of Contents

Changes in State Civil Service Systems: A National Survey; Steven W. Hays and Jessica E. Sowa

Framing Civil Service Innovations: Assessing State and Local Government Reforms; R. Paul Battaglio, Jr. and Stephen E. Condrey

At-Will Employment: Origins, Applications, Exceptions, and Expansions in Public Service; Sally C. Gertz

Bringing Back Boss Tweed? Could At-Will Employment Work in State Government and, If So, Where?; Robert Maranto and Jeremy Johnson

The Demonization of Patronage: Folk Devils and the Boston Globe’s Coverage of the 9/11 Terrorist Attacks; Domonic A. Bearfield

Ending Civil Service Protections in Florida Government: Experiences in State Agencies; James S. Bowman and Jonathan P. West:

At-Will Employment in Government: Its Impact in the State of Texas; Jerrell D. Coggburn

The Attraction to At-Will Employment in Utah Governments; Richard Green

Dissin’ the Deadwood or Coddling the Incompetents?  Patterns and Issues in Employee Discipline and Dismissal in the States; Richard C. Elling and Lyke Thompson

At-Will Employment and Racial Equality in the Public Sector: The Demise of a Niche?; George Wilson

Federal Labor-Management Relations Under George W. Bush: Enlightened Management or Political Retribution?; James R. Thompson

About the Series

Public Administration and Public Policy

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