The civil service provides the administrative infrastructure of western government. Its functions are central to any question of efficiency, the distribution of power in the state, the role of the state in society and the operation of democracy itself. When such issues transcend national boundaries a comparative perspective is invaluable. This book provides the first comprehensive study of civil services in the West. Aimed at first year students and above, the book applies a common framework of analysis to the study of each country's political setting, historical background, political executive, structure, bureaucracy, control, accountability, management and policy-making. The book is a timely and comprehensive introduction to this vital but neglected area of study. Countries covered include: Britain, Ireland, Canada, France, Italy, Sweden, United States and West Germany.