This chapter explores the central government departments, executive agencies, and other public bureaucracies in operation in the UK today, such as those in local and territorial governments. These bodies help make and implement public policies and run public services. The chapter reviews more general work on bureaucracy and public administration, and sets out the theory of politician–bureaucrat relationships (going back to the principal–agent model), before addressing the classic question of civil service influence over public policy. It then takes account of the diversity of bureaucratic organizations operating in Britain today. The chapter also looks at the evidence of how politicians manage to satisfy their political objectives through delegating authority to these bodies.
This chapter examines the adaptations that have occurred in Sweden’s political and administrative system following its admission to the European Union on 1 January 1995. Sweden became a member of the EU on 1 January 1995 after a long period of hesitation. After fifteen years of membership, reticence has given way to a more positive stance, best characterized as pragmatic support. The chapter first considers patterns in Sweden’s membership in the EU before discussing Swedish public opinion towards the EU and the impact of Sweden’s EU membership on the country’s political parties, political institutions, public administration, and sub-national actors such as the civil service. The chapter goes on to explore Sweden’s approach to EU public policy and concludes by comparing its experience with those of other member states, including Austria and Finland.
Cristin Fergus, Tim Allen, and Melissa Parker
This chapter addresses the connections between health and development, in both terms of development indicators and policies. Development processes that lead to improving livelihoods are linked to new kinds of health problems, including a rising prevalence of certain diseases, such as cancer and diabetes. Challenges in providing health services to populations will increasingly involve responding to the double burden of disease. In other words, infectious diseases associated with poverty will need to be addressed at the same time as non communicable diseases. Specific issues that need to be dealt with urgently include the rise in antimicrobial resistance, which has emerged as a consequence of the protracted, incorrect use of medications. Serious concerns have been highlighted about new disease epidemics, such as Ebola and COVID-19, which are recognized as a threat to public health internationally, in part due to air travel and population movements. This, in turn, has been associated with a more overt linking of security with disease control, and the possibilities for militarized enforcement procedures.
Frank Esser and Barbara Pfetsch
This chapter examines the dimensions of the political communication system. It first explains the rationale for a comparative study of political communication before discussing relevant models of relationship between media and political institutions, as well as differences in political communication cultures among media and political elites. It then reviews findings on country-specific reporting styles in political news coverage and evaluates divergent approaches in government communication and election communication. On the side of the citizens, the chapter explores cross-national differences in the consumption of political news, along with the positive contribution of public service broadcasters for informed and enlightened citizenship. Finally, it looks at political information flows, comparing message production by political actors, political message production by media actors, usage patterns of political information, and effects of political communication.