Unlike most public servants, top administrators – those who manage thousands of personnel and oversee millions of dollars in public spending – are appointed by the head of government. At the Pleasure of the Crown is a detailed exploration of this central but overlooked aspect of governing. Christopher A. Cooper analyzes the appointment of deputy ministers in Canada’s provincial bureaucracies over the last century, as governments have looked first for partisan loyalty, then candid advice, and ultimately feverish devotion to the policy agenda. Throughout, turnover among bureaucratic elites has remained highly political, with important consequences for the integrity of Canadian public institutions.
Christopher A. Cooper is an associate professor of public management at the University of Ottawa. His research investigates the complex relationship between politics and administration and has been published in a variety of leading periodicals, such as Public Administration, Governance, and Parliamentary Affairs.