The State of Civil Service Systems in the Asia-Pacific Region: A Comparative Perspective

M. Jae Moon, Changho Hwang

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

23 Citations (Scopus)


Despite increasing interest in Asian public administration, understanding of Asian civil service systems is limited. This study compares civil service systems in 14 Asia-Pacific countries, focusing on their size, legal frameworks, supervising agencies, and recruitment. The countries fall into four categories: Western countries (Australia, New Zealand, and the United States), Asian industrialized countries (Japan, Korea, Singapore, and Taiwan), Southeast Asian developing countries (Indonesia, Malaysia, the Philippines, and Thailand), and socialist transitional countries (Cambodia, China, and Vietnam). The study shows that the size of the civil service is much greater in Western countries and smaller in Asian industrialized countries. Some civil service reform initiatives, such as performance management, are commonly found across countries in all groups, which indicates the global diffusion of those initiatives. New initiatives for recruitment reform, ethics and transparency, and compensation reform are found mostly in Southeast Asian developing countries and socialist transitional countries.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)121-139
Number of pages19
JournalReview of Public Personnel Administration
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - 2013 Jun

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
The author(s) disclosed receipt of the following financial support for the research, authorship, and/or publication of this article: This article was supported by the National Research Foundation of Korea Grants funded by the Korean Government (NRF-2012-330-B00194).

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Public Administration
  • Organizational Behavior and Human Resource Management


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