Representation: Public Servants in Public

  • Peter MatthewsEmail author
Living reference work entry


In scholarship on public servants, they are represented in various ways across disciplines as we can see from the various contributions to this handbook. This section of the book considers how public servants are represented in broader public culture. A key question addressed is whether we want our public servants to be ideal heroes or whether we need to represent the worst of public servants as part of making them accountable. Looking across public culture, from comedy to political satire, and factual representations in a series of portraits, news stories from autocratic states, and job adverts, the chapters in this section bring together a varied range of theoretical approaches to understanding public servants with these popular representations. In doing so, the chapters tell us a great deal about how such representations reflect society and also illuminate the different ways we can apply theory to understand public servants and public service.


Representation Popular culture Public sphere Accountability 


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Copyright information

© The Author(s), under exclusive licence to Springer Nature Switzerland AG 2020

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Faculty of Social SciencesUniversity of StirlingStirlingUK

Section editors and affiliations

  • Peter Matthews
    • 1
  1. 1.Faculty of Social SciencesUniversity of StirlingStirlingUK

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