1st Edition

Civil Service Systems in East and Southeast Asia

Edited By Chong-Min Park, Yousueng Han, Yongjin Chang Copyright 2023
    272 Pages 24 B/W Illustrations
    by Routledge

    272 Pages 24 B/W Illustrations
    by Routledge

    This book compares contemporary civil service systems across East and Southeast Asia, a dynamic region of greater diversity in local administrative tradition, imported models of modern administration, and the character of prevailing political institutions.

    Featuring chapters on Japan, South Korea, Taiwan, Singapore, Hong Kong, Vietnam, Indonesia, Thailand, Malaysia, and the Philippines, this book provides a detailed analysis of key aspects of the civil service system, including centralization, recruitment, classification, openness of positions, performance assessment, promotion, training, and senior civil service. It distinguishes four modes of public employment, namely, bureaucratization, professionalization, politicization, and marketization, to develop a conceptual framework for comparing the civil service system at the operational level. The region’s contemporary civil service systems appear to be hybrid systems that combine, at varying degree, these modes of public employment, responding to administrative reform pressures. The patterns of public employment across East and Southeast Asia reflect local administrative traditions, imported Western models of administration, and the relative timing of democratization and bureaucratization.

    With contributions from leading local experts across the region, this book will be invaluable to students, scholars, and practitioners interested in Asian public administration, especially civil service systems.

    0. Comparing civil service systems: bureaucratization, professionalization, politicization, and marketization
    Chong-Min Park, Yousueng Han and Yongjin Chang
    PART I: Civil service systems with the Confucian tradition
    1. Japan
    Motomichi Otani
    2. South Korea
    Juhyun Nam
    3. Taiwan
    Bennis Wai Yip So
    4. Singapore
    James Low
    5. Hong Kong
    Wilson Wong and Raymond Hau-yin Yuen
    6. Vietnam
    Ngo Thanh Can
    PART II: Civil service systems with non-Confucian traditions
    7. Indonesia
    Eko Prasojo, Defny Holidin and Fajar Wardani Wijayanti
    8. Thailand
    Amporn Tamronglak
    9. Malaysia
    Khadijah Md Khalid and Nur Hairani Abd Rahman
    10. The Philippines
    Maria Fe Villamejor-Mendoza and Minerva Sanvictores Baylon
    11. Conclusion
    Chong-Min Park, Yongjin Chang and Yousueng Han


    Chong-Min Park is Professor Emeritus of Public Administration and former dean of the College of Political Science and Economics at Korea University, Seoul, South Korea.

    Yousueng Han is Assistant Professor in the Department of Global Public Administration at Yonsei University, Wonju, South Korea.

    Yongjin Chang is Associate Professor in the Faculty of Global Management at Chuo University, Tokyo, Japan.

    ‘This book about the diverse civil service systems of East and Southeast Asia continues an important line of research that covers more than five decades. The contributors to the volume emphasize concepts of bureaucratization, professionalization and politicization that have become increasingly important in the context of recent insights about the quality of government. In addition to providing insights about the institutional significance of meritocracy, the contributors also provide a lens into cultural influences, especially Confucianism. Scholars and practitioners with serious interests in civil service systems will want this book in their library and will turn to it often.’

    James L. Perry, Distinguished Professor Emeritus, Chancellor’s Professor of Public and Environmental Affairs Emeritus, Paul H. O’Neill School of Public and Environmental Affairs, Indiana University

    ‘How to analyze and improve the quality of civil service systems in the context of sustainable development is the key challenge of public administration in the twenty-first century. This insightful book uses the cultural aspects of the Confucian tradition and non-Confucian traditions to explore and compare the variations in the modes of public employment among ten countries in East and Southeast Asia. It fills a gap in the literature on cultures and civil service systems in Asia and will be valuable for students and scholars of public administration.'

    Soonhee Kim, Professor, KDI School of Public Policy and Management, South Korea

    'This collection of chapters examining ten contemporary civil service systems across East and Southeast Asia is a must-read book for anyone interested in comparative public administration in this region. It is very rare and convenient to find in a single volume such clear and concise analyses by a dozen experts who carefully considered the changing contexts and conditions of the civil service.'

    David Chan, Professor of Psychology & Director, Behavioural Sciences Initiative, Singapore Management University

    ‘This timely volume brings together contemporary thoughts on the state of civil service systems in East and Southeast Asia. Using a conceptual approach based on the historical evolution of the civil service, the book analyzes the civil service system as an institution of public employment that faces continuous pressure to respond to internal and external demands and challenges. The book highlights several intellectually exciting issues by drawing upon the experience of countries from the region that are analyzed with reference to the Confucian and non-Confucian traditions. The volume is a valuable addition to the literature and will be a useful aid for understanding the evolution and transformation of civil service systems in East and Southeast Asia.' 

    Ahmed Shafiqul Huque, Professor, Department of Political Science, McMaster University, Canada

    ‘The edited volume provides the most authoritative, comprehensive, and up-to-date account of the civil service system in East and Southeast Asian regions. In the book, the authors include research on the latest issues of public employment facing in the regions and develop a conceptual framework for examination and comparison: bureaucratization, professionalization, politicization and marketization; and show how much a response to modernization, democratization and globalization among different regimes. This book is a masterpiece in the field and will help reach an international audience.’

    Natalie Wong Wai-Man, Assistant Professor, Department of Public Administration, National Chengchi University

    ‘This book provides scholars with a new four-dimensional angle, namely bureaucratization, professionalization, politicization, and marketization, to look into the civil service system in ten East Asian and South Asian states. Anyone interested in comparative public administration must read this book.’

    Chung-An Chen, Associate Professor, School of Social Sciences, Nanyang Technological University, Singapore