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Title:Why Go Democratic? Civil Service Reform in Central and Eastern Europe
Author(s):Ghindar, Angelica
Doctoral Committee Chair(s):Carol Leff
Department / Program:Political Science
Discipline:Political Science
Degree Granting Institution:University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign
Subject(s):East European Studies
Abstract:This study examines the civil service systems adopted in the post-communist Central and Eastern European democracies. While these new democracies underwent a process of civil service reform with the goal of increasing the level of bureaucratic professionalism and efficiency, civil service performance varies greatly in the region. Motivated by this empirical puzzle, this work answers two main questions: (1) What do the civil service systems created through civil service laws look like? and (2) In the absence of differences in institutional design, why do administrative apparatuses function better in certain countries than in others? In response to the first question, by using original data, this study finds that the formal provisions that regulate the civil service systems (as stipulated in civil service laws) differ only marginally across countries, establishing institutions which display primarily elements of professionalism and independence from political interference. Using four case studies, I answer the second question by taking into account the interplay between party competition and the modernization of state bureaucracy. In countries with party systems that display signs of institutionalization (e.g., low fragmentation and low volatility), there is little political patronage, as party competition is able to constrain cronyism. In the absence of political patronage, the civil service is filled with professionals chosen on a meritocratic basis, which enhances the system's overall quality. In contrast, countries with underinstitutionalized party systems (e.g., high fragmentation and high volatility) cannot rely upon party competition to constrain patronage politics. In such countries, the civil service is saturated with politically motivated appointments, undermining the level of professionalism in the entire system.
Issue Date:2009
Description:204 p.
Thesis (Ph.D.)--University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, 2009.
Other Identifier(s):(MiAaPQ)AAI3362793
Date Available in IDEALS:2015-09-25
Date Deposited:2009

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