Public Service Systems at Subnational and Local Levels of Government: A British-German-French Comparison

  • Sabine Kuhlmann
  • Sylvia Veit
  • Jörg Bogumil


The subnational and local levels of government have hitherto been largely understudied in comparative civil service research. Against this background this chapter focuses on two central questions. First, we analyze whether and how the local public service and — if existing — the subnational public service can be distinguished from the central state/federal level of government and to what extent a ‘local public service system’ or a ‘subnational public service system’ 1 can be identified with specific structures and development patterns. Second, we question to what extent and owing to what factors country-specific patterns and structures of local and subnational public employment, inherited from the past, have been subjected to major changes and ruptures diluting historically ingrained differences or whether those national peculiarities of local public services have been retained. In order to answer these two compound questions we primarily draw on a literature review as well as on official statistical data, and restrict ourselves to three cases: Germany, France and the UK. The case selection is justified by the fact that these three countries represent important models of European administrative culture and crucial variations of decentralized institution-building and public employment in Western Europe, the analysis of which is essential to comparative public administration in general.


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Copyright information

© Sabine Kuhlmann, Sylvia Veit and Jörg Bogumil 2015

Authors and Affiliations

  • Sabine Kuhlmann
  • Sylvia Veit
  • Jörg Bogumil

There are no affiliations available

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