By Martin Lodge, Kai Wegrich (eds.)
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Additional resources for Executive Politics in Times of Crisis
Changes in the type and nature of the political executive itself, such as politicians’ backgrounds or changes in party systems, may also have profound effects on the relationships between politicians and bureaucrats. Finally, changes in the institutions and backgrounds of civil service systems too can have profound effects; career structures and patterns may change a ‘Village Life Model’, where career backgrounds of politicians and bureaucrats are more or less the same, into a ‘Functional Life Model’ when the career structures of civil servants give prevalence to technical expertise more than a generalist background.
Injecting political criteria into decisions about the hiring, ﬁring, promotion and demotion of public servants weakens ties between civil servants and powerful, yet unrepresentative, groups. These existing connections can pull civil servants away from what the majority of the public prefers. Politicization can also disrupt the hidebound traditions of civil servants and enliven a public service grown stale in standard operating procedures, rigid culture, and inﬂexible outlook and approach. 2 What appears to be a transnational phenomenon, however, has received the most attention in the United States.
Presidential politicization: Why and where? There are a number of factors that inﬂuence presidential choices to politicize some agencies and not others. Similar institutional and political incentives across presidencies operate in foreseeable ways to help predict where presidents will politicize based upon the ideology of agencies, importance of an agency for the president’s agenda and the extent to which politicizing will hurt agency performance. When presidents assume ofﬁce they confront a continuing professional government comprised of two to three million federal civilian employees working in 15 cabinet departments and their sub-cabinet agencies along with 55–60 independent agencies.
Executive Politics in Times of Crisis by Martin Lodge, Kai Wegrich (eds.)