Introduction In their seminal ethnographic study of the UK senior civil service, Mark Bevir and Rod Rhodes argued that ‘it is only through the micro-level analysis of minister and public servants at work that we can understand how governance changes’ (Bevir and Rhodes, 2006: 109). By employing this micro-level analysis, how policy actually gets made becomes foregrounded – the practice of policy – in all its messiness and confusion. This inevitably leads the researcher to re-examine the way policy workers think about and try to make sense of their work. For Bevir and Rhodes, this was an important tool for reassessing conventional narratives about how governance happens, particularly its supposed linearity and centralised coherence. This chapter argues that paying close attention to the micro-interactions of civil servants involved in policy discussions also reveals a complex set of cultural expectations around the behaviour, language and bodies of civil servants.