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The Power of Civil Servants
Praises for Haus Curiosities Series
‘The thinking person’s commuting read.’
–Independent 

The Power of Civil Servants provides rich and informative observations about the nature of the Civil Service, its values and effectiveness, what threatens it and how it should continue to adapt to a changing world. Journalist David Normington and historian Peter Hennessy address themes such as the importance of politicians trusting Civil Servants and the difficulties that arise when they don’t; the role of Special Advisers and the extent to which they are a threat to the Minister-Civil Servant relationship; and of the effect of Select Committees and the media. Civil Servants are now exposed to the public in unprecedented ways, with both negative as well as positive consequences.
What does it mean that the political neutrality of the Civil Service has been enshrined in law since 2010, approximately 150 years after it was first proposed by Northcott and Trevelyan? The Power of Civil Servants is an accessible introduction to the life of the Civil Servant as well as the Civil Service itself. 


Peter Hennessy was Attlee Professor of Contemporary British History at Queen Mary, University of London. He spent 20 years in journalism and as a presenter of the BBC Radio 4’s Analysis. He sits as an independent crossbench peer in the House of Lords, is the author of numerous works on British history including, most recently, The Silent Deep: The Royal Navy Submarine Service Since 1945 (2015). 

Sir David John Normington, GCB is a retired British civil servant. He served as the Permanent Secretary of the Department for Education and Skills from 2001 to 2005, and then of the Home Office until 2011. 

Claire Foster-Gilbert is currently member of the British Medical Association's Medical Ethics Committee, Unilever's Central Research Ethics Advisory Committee and the McDonald Centre for public theology and ethics, Christ Church, Oxford.

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