Transparency, accountability, participation, and representation are concepts that are seen by many as positive and desirable attributes in the context of public organisations. Transparency means when a public organisation discloses information publicly, accountability means when it reports, answers, and justifies its actions to politicians or other state actors. Representation refers to the identity of the people working in the organisation, and participation means when public organisations consult with non-state actors in the rule-making process. Continue reading →
Karen Miller and Duncan McTavish from Glasgow Caledonian University discuss their latest article for Policy & Politics, ‘Representative Bureaucracy‘.
As we approach the UK General Election in May 2015, and in 2018 the centennial anniversary of the suffragettes’ struggle, the absence of women in politics and public life is stark. Political and public institutions which formulate and implement equality policies often lack representation of minorities at the senior echelons of power. Our question of where are the women belies a more fundamental question of how can policies, which are formulated with objectives to achieve equality, be formulated by decision makers Continue reading →
The UK Civil Service has long been regarded a bastion of white, middle class men, but there have been efforts to recruit a more diverse workforce in recent years. In this post Rhys Andrews and Rachel Ashworth assess the representativeness of Whitehall staff, in terms of gender, ethnicity and disability. They show that progress has been made in most departments, although there are still questions to be answered about the type of jobs that women, people from ethnic minorities and disabled people tend to hold.
In recent years policy-makers and politicians have been keen to encourage public organizations to become more diverse, especially within central government. For example, the shadow Cabinet Office Minister Michael Dugher recently stated that a future Labour government would ensure that a greater proportion of Fast Stream civil servants come from black and working class backgrounds. Government has sought to increase the representativeness of the civil service for two main reasons: firstly, so that it is more representative of society and can therefore be viewed as legitimate and, secondly to ensure that policies can generate outcomes that benefit all sections of society. Continue reading →