civil service

Introduction

civil service, entire body of those employed in the civil administration as distinct from the military and excluding elected officials. The term was used in designating the British administration of India, and its first application elsewhere was in 1854 in England. Modern civil service personnel are usually chosen by examination and promoted on the basis of merit ratings. In democratic nations recruitment and advancement procedures are designed to divorce the civil service from political patronage.

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The Columbia Electronic Encyclopedia, 6th ed. Copyright © 2012, Columbia University Press. All rights reserved.

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