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Contemporary Hong Kong Government and Politics$
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Wai-man Lam and Percy Luen-tim Lui

Print publication date: 2012

Print ISBN-13: 9789888139477

Published to Hong Kong Scholarship Online: January 2013

DOI: 10.5790/hongkong/9789888139477.001.0001

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PRINTED FROM HONG KONG SCHOLARSHIP ONLINE (www.hongkong.universitypressscholarship.com). (c) Copyright Hong Kong University Press, 2021. An individual user may print out a PDF of a single chapter of a monograph in HKSO for personal use.date: 17 September 2021

The Civil Service

The Civil Service

(p.87) Chapter 5 The Civil Service
Contemporary Hong Kong Government and Politics

Wilson Wong

Hong Kong University Press

This chapter examines an influential political institution in the HKSAR—the Hong Kong civil service. The chapter outlines the structural and systemic features of the civil service and the special role that its leaders—the administrative officers—play in the governance of Hong Kong. The chapter argues that civil servants served as powerful political actors both before and after the handover and that they were seen (and still regard themselves after the handover) as the guardians of the public interest. The chapter then analyzes reforms to the reforms public sector reform (which reduces the political influence of civil servants) and civil service (inspired by ideas of the new public management movement initiated in the Western industrial countries in the late 1970s). The chapter concludes that the civil service in general and administrative officers in particular remain influential political actors in the governance of the HKSAR.

Keywords:   Hong Kong, Government, Politics, Special Administrative Region, Civil service, Administrative officers, Public service reform

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