Representative Bureaucracy and Performance

  • Sergio Fernandez
Part of the Executive Politics and Governance book series (EXPOLGOV)


The chapter introduces the book’s central themes: representative bureaucracy, the demographic transformation of the South African public service since 1994, and how racial and gender representation influence bureaucratic performance. Affirmative action to promote equity and proportional representation in the public sector is discussed, along with a summary of the main criticisms of affirmative action, including claims about its adverse impact on bureaucratic capacity and performance. Another view is also presented, one based on research suggesting representative bureaucracies are more effective at implementing public policies. The main research questions are then posed: can increased representation of blacks and women in the public service improve organizational performance, and if so, how or why? The methodological approach, data, and main empirical findings are summarized.


Representative bureaucracy Transformation Affirmative action Performance 


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Copyright information

© The Author(s) 2020

Authors and Affiliations

  • Sergio Fernandez
    • 1
  1. 1.Indiana University BloomingtonBloomingtonUSA

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