Cover: Jobs for the Boys: Patronage and the State in Comparative Perspective, from Harvard University PressCover: Jobs for the Boys in HARDCOVER

Jobs for the Boys

Patronage and the State in Comparative Perspective

Add to Cart

Product Details

HARDCOVER

$52.00 • £41.95 • €47.00

ISBN 9780674065703

Publication Date: 06/11/2012

Short

336 pages

6-1/8 x 9-1/4 inches

2 charts, 1 graph, 8 tables

World

Patronage systems in the public service are universally reviled as undemocratic and corrupt. Yet patronage was the prevailing method of staffing government for centuries, and in some countries it still is. In Jobs for the Boys, Merilee Grindle considers why patronage has been so ubiquitous in history and explores the political processes through which it is replaced by merit-based civil service systems. Such reforms are consistently resisted, she finds, because patronage systems, though capricious, offer political executives flexibility to achieve a wide variety of objectives.

Grindle looks at the histories of public sector reform in six developed countries and compares them with contemporary struggles for reform in four Latin American countries. A historical, case-based approach allows her to take into account contextual differences between countries as well as to identify cycles that govern reform across the board. As a rule, she finds, transition to merit-based systems involves years and sometimes decades of conflict and compromise with supporters of patronage, as new systems of public service are politically constructed. Becoming aware of the limitations of public sector reform, Grindle hopes, will temper expectations for institutional change now being undertaken.

Recent News

From Our Blog

Jacket: The Cabinet: George Washington and the Creation of an American Institution, by Lindsay M. Chervinsky, from Harvard University Press

National Epidemics, Then and Now

Our current COVID-19 crisis isn’t the first time this nation has faced an epidemic. Lindsay M. Chervinsky, author of The Cabinet: George Washington and the Creation of an American Institution, tells about the yellow fever outbreak that our country faced in its capital during its early years—and how our first president responded. American responses to the 1793 outbreak of yellow fever in Philadelphia and the 2020 COVID-

‘manifold glories of classical Greek and Latin’

The digital Loeb Classical Library (loebclassics.com) extends the founding mission of James Loeb with an interconnected, fully searchable, perpetually growing virtual library of all that is important in Greek and Latin literature.