Monthly Archives: February 2015

A Contingency Approach to Representative Bureaucracy

60213_9781446294222Sage reprinted the article ‘A Contingency Approach to Representative Bureaucracy: Power, Equal Opportunities and Diversity‘ (With Sandra Groeneveld), in the new four-volume Major Reference Work Public Administration, edited by B. Guy Peters and John Pierre. We argue that representative bureaucracy is a multidimensional and changing concept, and that in the academic and policy debate on representative bureaucracy three different dimensions are intermingled: Power, equal opportunities and diversity. These dimensions do not only reflect a particular view on the role of the state and the relation between the state and citizens. They also diverge in the motives for making the bureaucracy representative. Even the conception of what representation means can be totally different. We conclude that modern diversity management approaches alone may not contribute to nation building because these mainly emphasize organisational performance. Approaches to representative bureaucracy in nation building must also be built on moral arguments and underline the exemplary role of the state. In addition, the political viability of managerial and moral approaches needs to be taken into account through acknowledging political realities and existing distributions of power in society. A preprint version is available from SSRN. The original article is here.

Producing Salience or Keeping Silence? An Exploration of Topics and Non-Topics of Special Eurobarometers

LEQs-logo452x300This paper, part of the LSE ‘Europe in Question’ Discussion Paper Series, presents the first systematic mapping of the topics and non-topics of the 400 so-called Special Eurobarometers. Markus Haverland, Minou De Ruiter and I chart the frequency of Special EBs over time, identify the topics (and non-topics) using the Comparative Agenda Project’s EU codebook, and relate their frequency to the distribution of competencies between the EU and its member states. We also document the variation across DGs in their effort to gauge public opinion. We conclude that the Commission is increasingly seeking public opinion and that it does so in a very broad range of policy areas. We find a curvilinear relationship between the degree of EU competencies and the frequency of Special EBs. Citizen input is less sought in areas where the EU already has far reaching competencies and in areas which are clearly in the national (or even sub-national) domain. The lion’s share of Special EBs is conducted in the realm of shared competencies, with an emphasis on those areas where the EU got involved relatively recently. We also detected only two Special EBs specifically related to the redistribution of resources (e.g., cohesion policy) and none on immigration. These results open up promising avenues for research on the responsiveness of the European Commission and its agenda setting strategies and legitimacy seeking behaviour.