Civil service, theory of
(1,516 words)

1. Basics

The emergence of the civil service (Civil servant) in the early modern era was accompanied by a multitude of oral and written discussions of the tasks and qualifications of this new, secondary ruling elite as well as its sociopolitical status. Where the expansion and development of the administration (Government) was especially advanced, by the second half of the 16th century at the latest it gave birth to a formal theory of civil service; beginning in the 18th century, it was informed substantially by juristic issues, to a lesser extent by public economic issues as well.

This theory, developed by people engaged in …

Cite this page
Weber, Wolfgang E.J., “Civil service, theory of”, in: Encyclopedia of Early Modern History Online, Editors of the English edition: Graeme Dunphy, Andrew Gow. Original German Edition: Enzyklopädie der Neuzeit. Im Auftrag des Kulturwissenschaftlichen Instituts (Essen) und in Verbindung mit den Fachherausgebern herausgegeben von Friedrich Jaeger. Copyright © J.B. Metzlersche Verlagsbuchhandlung und Carl Ernst Poeschel Verlag GmbH 2005–2012. Consulted online on 23 July 2018 <>
First published online: 2015
First print edition: 20160907

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