2013 Shaughnessy Cohen Prize for Political Writing Finalist

Whatever Happened to the Music Teacher?

Donald J. Savoie 
Whatever Happened to the Music Teacher? How Government Decides and Why 
McGill-Queen's University Press


Jury Citation

For three decades Anglo-American politicians have been reorganizing the public service to follow private-sector management models. As policy insider Donald Savoie illustrates in Whatever Happened to the Music Teacher?, the experiment has been a failure. Then he takes us further, showing in up-close detail how governments make decisions and how to better organize the public sector for results.

About the Book

Thirty years ago, Anglo-American politicians set out to make the public sector look like the private sector. The traditional role of public servants advising governments on policy was turned on its head and new reforms empowered elected officials to shape policy. Evidence-based policy making was devalued as focus groups, public opinion surveys, and well-connected lobbyists provided the answers politicians wished to hear. Professor Donald J. Savoie argues that as a result, public servants have lost their way. In Whatever Happened to the Music Teacher? Savoie demonstrates how the notion that public administration could be made to operate like the private sector has been misguided and costly to taxpayers.

About the Author

Donald J. Savoie holds the Canada Research Chair in Public Administration and Governance at the University of Moncton. He is a former civil servant and has extensive work experience in both government and academia. He has been an advisor to federal, provincial, and territorial governments, the private sector, the World Bank, and the United Nations. He is the author of numerous books, including Power: Where Is It?




Woodcock Fund



Shaughnessy Cohen Prize for Political Writing


September 19 for books published between June 20 and September 18, 2018


Hilary Weston Writers' Trust Prize for Nonfiction
and Rogers Writers' Trust Fiction Prize


July 18 for books published between May 16 and Sept 30, 2018


Recommended Reading List

We asked some of Canada's finest writers about their favourite reads in 2017.

Read their Recommendations.


E Newsletter Sign Up

Sign-up for our eNewsletter. Get info about Authors and our latest Events.

Sign up now!

Site design & development supported by

ecentricarts inc