Bangladesh Civil Service : A Political - Administrative Perspective

A M M Shawkat Ali, The University Press Limited, 2004, xxiii, 348 p, tables, ISBN : 9840517023, $31.00 (Includes free airmail shipping)

Bangladesh Civil Service : A Political - Administrative Perspective/A.M.M. Shawkat Ali. Dhaka

Contents: Preface. 1. Introduction. I. The civil service: comparative, historical and modern perspective: 2. Civil Service in comparative perspective. 3. Civil Service: 1757-1947. 4. Civil Service: 1947-1971. 5. Civil Service: 1971-2001. II. Managing the Civil Service: 6. The recruitment and training. 7. Conditions of service. 8. The size of public sector. 9. Corruption and accountability in Civil Service. III. The Civil Service in an interactive role: 10. Civil Service and the judiciary. 11. Ministers and civil servants. 12. Civil Service and parliament. IV. Conclusions: 13. Conclusions. Annexes. Bibliography. Index.

"Politicization of Civil Service has been much discussed in the media. Little research as to its implications on economic, social and political order exists. The author's analysis of this burning issue is truly revealing. Drawing on examples from the United Kingdom, the author acknowledges that civil servants have to act under political direction. However, politicization of Civil Service in Bangladesh has been carried to absurd lengths. The point he makes is that this type of politicization is anathema to constitutional governance. In public eye, the civil servants become almost indistinguishable from the party activists. Viewed in this perspective, politicization of services will clearly appear as self-defeating political stratagem--it destroys institutional governance that makes way for a failed state.

The study comprising twelve chapters provides considerable information on the historical background of the Civil Service and their developments since 1757 AD. The study provides data and information (not easily available) which should serve as an important backdrop to a proper comprehension of the dimensions of any future exercise of the reform and reorganization of services in Bangladesh. The inter-relationships of the Civil Service and the judiciary, ministers and parliament discussed provide a worm's eye view to anyone interested in the subject and would help in dispelling misperceptions about the character, role and conduct of public servants in a complex and difficult environment. This dispassionate and objective study fills a yawning gap that exist in the availability of literature on the subject." (jacket)

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