The ‘Thesis, Antithesis, and Synthesis’ of Politicization: Testing the Temporal Rupture Theory in the Politics of Bureaucratic Appointments with Evidence from Westminster.

Wednesday, July 12, 2017
Gilbert Scott Building - Room 656A (University of Glasgow)
Christopher Cooper , Political science, University of Ottawa
ABSTRACT: Since the Northcote-Trevelyan report the extent to which governments strategically appoint and dismiss administrative elites has been seen as reflecting the boarder level of government corruption. Recent research from the ‘politicization of the bureaucracy’ literature suggests that from a historical perspective, the degree to which governments have interfered in administrative appointments over time, has followed a series of discontinuous shifts in the informal institutions between politicians and the bureaucracy: shifting from the Spoils system, to the Schafferian bargain, to the era of New Public Management. This paper tests whether government interference in the staffing of administrative elites over time does reflect such a discontinuous model of change. This is done by statistically testing whether there are shifts in the relationship between politics and administrative mobility over time using an original dataset measuring the mobility of permanent secretaries in the UK over the 20th century.
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