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Publication date: 12 January 2021

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The Emerald Handbook of Public Administration in Latin America
Type: Book
ISBN: 978-1-83982-677-1

Book part
Publication date: 12 January 2021

José-Luis Méndez

Departing from a so-called “modern civil service” as an ideal type, this chapter evaluates the status of public personnel management in Latin America. Such an ideal model…

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Departing from a so-called “modern civil service” as an ideal type, this chapter evaluates the status of public personnel management in Latin America. Such an ideal model is considered a mix between the organizational principles of the traditional civil service and those of the new public management perspective. First, the chapter presents the different phases that public management practices have undergone in some developed countries. Secondly, following several studies and data provided by the IADB, the level of development of several civil service systems in Latin America is analyzed and several of their construction–destruction–reconstruction patterns are presented. Lastly, the cases that most approach a modern civil service are discussed and some recommendations offered to reformers in this region.

Details

The Emerald Handbook of Public Administration in Latin America
Type: Book
ISBN: 978-1-83982-677-1

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Abstract

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The Emerald Handbook of Public Administration in Latin America
Type: Book
ISBN: 978-1-83982-677-1

Book part
Publication date: 12 January 2021

Juan Javier Negri

This chapter explores the question of the relationship between bureaucracy and politics in Latin America. The objective is exploring the role that politics plays in…

Abstract

This chapter explores the question of the relationship between bureaucracy and politics in Latin America. The objective is exploring the role that politics plays in guaranteeing a professional and autonomous bureaucracy structure.

The chapter first examines an institutional explanation for bureaucratic performance. I will scrutinize the institutional arrangements that might preclude the existence of a professional bureaucracy. The chapter then “brings the state back in,” under the assumption that the explanation for performance of bureaucracy might have been related to long-lasting conditions of “Stateness.” The bureaucracy is analyzed in a more historical perspective and relates the former with specific societal and partisan coalitions at the time of state consolidation. These historical decisions seem to have determined a pattern of clientelistic utilization of the State apparatus in some countries but not in others. The partial evidence presented in this section suggests the importance of “state strength” to understand bureaucratic performance.

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The Emerald Handbook of Public Administration in Latin America
Type: Book
ISBN: 978-1-83982-677-1

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Book part
Publication date: 12 January 2021

Mercedes Iacoviello, Diego Pando and Mercedes Llano

Administrative reforms in Argentina have followed an irregular trajectory as a result of the penetration of patronage in the state apparatus. Extensive politicization has…

Abstract

Administrative reforms in Argentina have followed an irregular trajectory as a result of the penetration of patronage in the state apparatus. Extensive politicization has impeded the development of a univocal and stable civil service at the national level.

In this context, the goal of this chapter is to analyze the characteristics of the federal civil service in its interaction with actors and institutions of the political system during the 2004–2014 period. The study reveals two main findings: (1) a diversity of bureaucratic formats coexist in the country, both formally and informally; and (2) the relationships between the administration and the political system vary according to the predominant bureaucratic format.

Details

The Emerald Handbook of Public Administration in Latin America
Type: Book
ISBN: 978-1-83982-677-1

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Book part
Publication date: 12 January 2021

Susan Alberts, Mireya Dávila and Arturo Valenzuela

In the decades following Chile's 1990 return to democracy, successive governments adopted pioneering reforms aimed at modernizing the state and strengthening democratic…

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In the decades following Chile's 1990 return to democracy, successive governments adopted pioneering reforms aimed at modernizing the state and strengthening democratic governance. This chapter discusses the major developments within Chile's public sector since 1990, with an emphasis on reforms affecting the civil service and public sector management. The politics of the reform process was notable for successful consensus building and led to a more meritocratic, professionally managed public employment system. This chapter also provides an overview of initiatives to strengthen accountability through greater transparency and citizen participation in government, as well as the major public sector management reforms adopted during the last three decades.

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The Emerald Handbook of Public Administration in Latin America
Type: Book
ISBN: 978-1-83982-677-1

Book part
Publication date: 12 January 2021

Violeta Pallavicini

Costa Rica is recognized as one of the two countries with the longest continuous democracy in Latin America. After a short civil war, the country dissolved its armed…

Abstract

Costa Rica is recognized as one of the two countries with the longest continuous democracy in Latin America. After a short civil war, the country dissolved its armed forces and adopted a new constitution that established the basis of a Welfare State and a meritocratic public administration. The aim of this chapter is to analyze the characteristics of the Costa Rican public administration since the end of the 1990s. We discuss the dilemmas presented by its high level of fragmentation and the actions that have been taken—based mainly on the neo-Weberian paradigm—to modernize the traditional public apparatus so that it becomes more efficient, transparent, and responsive to citizens.

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The Emerald Handbook of Public Administration in Latin America
Type: Book
ISBN: 978-1-83982-677-1

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Book part
Publication date: 12 January 2021

Christian Schuster

This chapter assesses public administration in Paraguay. It argues that the country's public administration and public personnel structures have been shaped by a…

Abstract

This chapter assesses public administration in Paraguay. It argues that the country's public administration and public personnel structures have been shaped by a predominance of informal decision-making norms, patron–client relations, exceptional legislative interference in what elsewhere tend to be executive prerogatives, and weak accountability mechanisms of a state largely captured by a small oligarchy. In this context, administrative reform has been mostly instigated by external actors—donors and international financial institutions—and only achieved incremental progress in, in particular, the modernization of public finance institutions during periods of economic crises or political change when external demand coincided with domestic pressure. Except for some “pockets of efficiency,” Paraguay thus remains a benchmark case of a neopatrimonial state in a formally democratic Presidential system, in which informal patron–client relations trump formal bureaucratic structures—albeit one in which the legislature has exceptional influence over administrative matters and public sector jobs are exceptionally dominant in clientelist exchanges of state resources.

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The Emerald Handbook of Public Administration in Latin America
Type: Book
ISBN: 978-1-83982-677-1

Book part
Publication date: 12 January 2021

Martín Alessandro and Mariano Lafuente

This chapter analyzes the concept of the Center of Government (CoG) and its relevance for the public administration agenda in Latin America. It identifies five key…

Abstract

This chapter analyzes the concept of the Center of Government (CoG) and its relevance for the public administration agenda in Latin America. It identifies five key functions of the CoG: strategic management, policy coordination, performance monitoring and improvement, political management, and communications and accountability, and it assesses the region's performance for each of them, citing concrete experiences. The CoG is still an emerging topic for scholars and practitioners in Latin America. Despite the fact that CoGs in Latin America formally recognize most if not all of its five key functions, the region shows a relatively weak performance in practice. Nonetheless, recent innovative experiences show an increased interest in governments to strengthen the CoG and suggest paths that may lead to improved performance.

The CoG may be a relatively new topic in public administration research, but it is not a new phenomenon. It refers to functions that have been performed, and to structures that have existed, for several decades in many countries, including Latin American ones. However, a number of factors have led to an increased relevance of CoG institutions in recent years. The first section of this chapter will attempt to define the concept of “Center of Government”; to enumerate the CoG's main political and technical functions; to describe the typical structures that perform these functions; and to indicate why these institutions play a critical role in current times. Then, Section 2 will discuss how CoG institutions in Latin American countries have been performing their core functions, identifying regional trends and country-level configurations. The political economy of CoG strengthening will also be covered. Section 3 concludes.

Details

The Emerald Handbook of Public Administration in Latin America
Type: Book
ISBN: 978-1-83982-677-1

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Book part
Publication date: 12 January 2021

Cristina Zurbriggen

Governance is becoming an increasingly important concept in European theoretical debates and in political practice as a new way to manage public policies, since the public…

Abstract

Governance is becoming an increasingly important concept in European theoretical debates and in political practice as a new way to manage public policies, since the public sector reforms in the 1980s. However, the debate in Latin America has different characteristics than in Europe, so it is necessary to provide a critical review of the proposed agenda for the transformation of the state in the region, and of the transfer of the concept of governance by multilateral agencies. To understand these changes, this chapter examines three key areas of reforms in Latin America and the privatization of public services, new social policy proposals, and the decentralization process. This will help us understand the tension between normative models and specific patterns of governance that prevail in Latin America.

Details

The Emerald Handbook of Public Administration in Latin America
Type: Book
ISBN: 978-1-83982-677-1

Keywords

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