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Bureaucratic Elites in Western European StatesA Comparative Analysis of Top Officials$
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Edward C. Page and Vincent Wright

Print publication date: 1999

Print ISBN-13: 9780198294467

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: November 2003

DOI: 10.1093/0198294468.001.0001

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Italy's Senior Civil Service: An Ossified World

Italy's Senior Civil Service: An Ossified World

(p.55) 3 Italy's Senior Civil Service: An Ossified World
Bureaucratic Elites in Western European States

Sabino Cassese

Oxford University Press

The beginning of the twentieth century saw a progressive southernization of jobs in the Italian public sector, with a sizeable migration of personnel from South to North. In 1995, some 35% of civil servants worked in the North and 65% in the Centre‐South, but 27% of civil servants in the North were from the Centre‐South, which, in this way, contributed to the administration and the provision of public services in the North; in the top echelons of the state administration, the disequilibrium was even stronger. State employees in general, therefore, and senior officials, in particular, are not representative in territorial terms, resulting in the paradox of a senior civil service that administers the nation, but which is not national. This chapter aims to illustrate this paradox. It looks first at the subject to be analysed (the senior civil service) and its organizational context, and then defines a profile of senior officials, illustrating the characteristics of the category in which they are found; finally it analyses the two (failed) attempts of reform.

Keywords:   civil servants, Italy, organization, reform, senior civil service, senior officials, state administration

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