The Merit Principle in Crisis

Commentary in Governance: “In the United States, the presidential race is heating up, and one result is an increasing number of assaults on century-old ideas about the merit-based civil service.  “The merit principle is under fierce attack,” says Donald Kettl, in a new commentary for Governance.  Kettl outlines five “tough questions” that are raised by attacks on the civil service system — and says that the US research community “has been largely asleep at the switch” on all of them.  Within major public policy schools, courses on the public service have been “pushed to the side.”  A century ago, American academics helped to build the American state.  Kettl warns that “scholarly neglect in the 2000s could undermine it.”  Read the commentary.