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Aesop with variations: civil service competency as a case of German tortoise and British hare?

By Christopher Hood and Martin Lodge


Among the most widely used stereotypes in the contemporary literature on public management reform is to portray German administrative policy as that of a slow-moving 'tortoise' in contrast to the fast-moving reform 'hare'. Taking civil service competency as a point of analysis, this article questions the validity of these widely held assumptions. It does so in three steps. Following a brief comparative narrative of competency initiatives in the German and British higher civil services, the article explores to what extent the observed 'Aesop with variation' pattern can be explained. It suggests that the variations can only to a limited extent be explained by 'civil service competency exceptionalism' and that there therefore seems to be something wrong with the way that Germany and the UK are conventionally categorized in the international public management reform literature

Topics: JA Political science (General), JN Political institutions (Europe)
Publisher: Wiley-Blackwell Publishing Ltd
Year: 2005
DOI identifier: 10.1111/j.0033-3298.2005.00477.x
OAI identifier: oai:eprints.lse.ac.uk:15378
Provided by: LSE Research Online
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