Reviews for Everyday Life In British Government

“One of the best books I have ever read about how the public service works.”
Fran Thorn, President of the Institute of Public Administration, Australia

“Rhodes skilfully paints a lucid picture of how beliefs and practices create meaning in politics, policy-making, and public service delivery. The reader is left with a firm impression of a story-telling political administrative elite that uses willed-ordinariness, underpinned by routines, rituals, protocols, and language, to domesticate the rude surprises that punctuate everyday government.”
Alistair Davey, Public Administration

“Some will read this fine and engaging book for its sharp observation of ministers and their private offices at work. Others will value it as a detailed and methodologically explicit example of the value of observation as part of the political scholars tool-kit: indeed, it is an excellent case study in using ones research as a showcase or ones ontology and epistemology (in this case, an interpretivist position which emphasises the interaction of narratives and practices).”
Andrew Connell, Political Studies Review

“Rhodes’ writing is personal, assertive, challenging, informed and always interesting.”
Evert A. Lindquist, Canadian Public Administration

“Everyday Life in British Government by R.A.W. Rhodes, one of Britain’s foremost executive scholars, is both an important and a very personal book. This rare combination flows not just from the author’s truly passionate interest in his subjects but also, and more importantly, from the particular methodological approach to studying British government ministers and civil servants used in this book.”
Ludger Helms, Innsbruck

“describing government in terms of social research usefully highlights important yet usually overlooked aspects of how government works, such as the importance of networks (especially informal ones) and the representative role of top civil servants. Highly recommended.”
Brian Peddie, Journal of the Law Society of Scotland

“one of the “must have” books on politics for 2011… a fascinating and surprisingly readable and entertaining book. Politicians and bureaucrats, believe it or not, are just like us – well maybe not quite. They swear, make mistakes, and bitch and gossip about each other and their enemies (usually the Treasury)… a fascinating insight into the inner workings of the Whitehall.”
Dr Steve Coulter, LSE blog

“Rhodes has diligently recorded a wide range of exchanges and conversations with some of the big beasts of the Whitehall jungle, coming away with tasty little vignettes”
Ivor Gaber, Times Higher Education

“This is an accurate and authentic description of the everyday life of Government Ministers, senior officials and their immediate colleagues. Rod Rhodes was given almost unrestricted access to the heart of Whitehall and has used this very intelligently in preparing a narrative which is both rigorous and entertaining.”
Martin Stanley, author of How to be A Civil Servant