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Gendering the institutional legacies of the Northern Ireland senior civil service

Gendering the institutional legacies of the Northern Ireland senior civil service AbstractThe adverse gender outcomes associated with post-conflict power-sharing arrangements contrast starkly with the socially transformative promise of the framework peace agreements which produce them. Scholarship that has sought to analyse the adverse gender outcomes which occur on imple - mentation has largely focused on the complexities of power-sharing institutional architecture and the role of elite political actors within it. This article makes the case for a new research direction. Parallel research in the field of post-conflict public administration indicates that the complexity of power-sharing institutional arrangements may provide increased opportunity structures for the use of bureaucratic discretion. While use of bureaucratic discretion among elite bureaucrats in Northern Ireland was found to be grounded in core public service values (O’Connor, 2015), feminist institutional analysis exposes those ostensibly benign values (neutrality, objectivity and impartiality) as distinctly gendered phenomena when mediated through the prism of gendered organisational culture (Chappell, 2002, 2006). This article considers the history and specificity of the Northern Ireland civil service and in particular its elite cohort of decision-makers - the senior civil service (SCS) - with a view to excavating the particular institutional legacies which may imbue SCS values and culture. In doing so it asks whether gendered institutional legacies have the potential to function as structural inhibitors to formal provisions for gender equality and socially transformative policy in Northern Ireland’s post-conflict dispensation. http://www.deepdyve.com/assets/images/DeepDyve-Logo-lg.png Administration de Gruyter

Gendering the institutional legacies of the Northern Ireland senior civil service

Administration , Volume 66 (3): 20 – Aug 1, 2018

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Publisher
de Gruyter
Copyright
© 2018 Michelle Rouse, published by Sciendo
eISSN
2449-9471
DOI
10.2478/admin-2018-0027
Publisher site
See Article on Publisher Site

Abstract

AbstractThe adverse gender outcomes associated with post-conflict power-sharing arrangements contrast starkly with the socially transformative promise of the framework peace agreements which produce them. Scholarship that has sought to analyse the adverse gender outcomes which occur on imple - mentation has largely focused on the complexities of power-sharing institutional architecture and the role of elite political actors within it. This article makes the case for a new research direction. Parallel research in the field of post-conflict public administration indicates that the complexity of power-sharing institutional arrangements may provide increased opportunity structures for the use of bureaucratic discretion. While use of bureaucratic discretion among elite bureaucrats in Northern Ireland was found to be grounded in core public service values (O’Connor, 2015), feminist institutional analysis exposes those ostensibly benign values (neutrality, objectivity and impartiality) as distinctly gendered phenomena when mediated through the prism of gendered organisational culture (Chappell, 2002, 2006). This article considers the history and specificity of the Northern Ireland civil service and in particular its elite cohort of decision-makers - the senior civil service (SCS) - with a view to excavating the particular institutional legacies which may imbue SCS values and culture. In doing so it asks whether gendered institutional legacies have the potential to function as structural inhibitors to formal provisions for gender equality and socially transformative policy in Northern Ireland’s post-conflict dispensation.

Journal

Administrationde Gruyter

Published: Aug 1, 2018

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