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Acta Politica

, Volume 51, Issue 4, pp 451–471 | Cite as

The party politicization of administrative elites in the Netherlands

  • Laurenz Ennser-JedenastikEmail author
Original Article

Abstract

This paper explores four potential motivations for the party politicization of the senior civil service: ideological agreement, coalition governance, party family issue priorities, and consociational representation. Using data on the party affiliation of 134 secretaries-general (SGs) serving in the Dutch ministerial bureaucracy between 1945 and 2013, it examines the partisan logic of appointment patterns among senior civil servants in the Netherlands. Overall levels of politicization are very high (almost 70 percent of all SGs have a discernible party affiliation), with a strong increase between 1970 and 1990 and a slight drop-off during the past decades. The appointment patterns suggest that the main drivers behind the party politicization of the Dutch elite bureaucracy are the demand for ideological agreement and a consociational quest for the representation of the ‘pillar parties’ in the senior civil service.

Keywords

politicization civil service bureaucracy administrative elites Netherlands 

Notes

Acknowledgments

Research for this paper was conducted as part of the project ‘Party Government, Patronage, and the Regulatory State,’ funded by the Austrian Science Fund (Grant no. J 3409-G11).

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Copyright information

© Macmillan Publishers Ltd 2016

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of GovernmentUniversity of ViennaViennaAustria

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