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Governmentalizing central executives in post-communist Europe: a four-country comparison

By Klaus H. Goetz and Hellmut Wollmann


This article compares the institutionalization of central ministerial executives in Bulgaria, the Czech Republic, Hungary and Poland since the late 1980s. Under communism, the policy formation and arbitration function of the central state apparatus was weakly developed; at the same time, the state bureaucracy was comprehensively politicized, as personnel policy emphasized political loyalty and reliability. In policy terms, state administration was 'under-politicized', in personnel terms 'over-politicized'. Against this background, the key challenge of post-communist executive institutionalization has been to 'governmentalize' the executive, i.e. to build up its policy-making capacity and to professionalize its staff. Executive reform has, accordingly, centred on attempts to concentrate policy formation in the central executive; to create a capable core executive around the prime minister and the minister of finance; and to establish a career civil service. But this reform agenda has yielded mixed results and the configuration of central executives remains unstable

Topics: JN Political institutions (Europe)
Publisher: Routledge
Year: 2001
DOI identifier: 10.1080/13501760110098260
OAI identifier:
Provided by: LSE Research Online
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