Pub. date: 2011 | Online Pub. Date: October 04, 2011 | DOI: 10.4135/9781412994163 | Print ISBN: 9781412959636 | Online ISBN: 9781412994163| Publisher:SAGE Publications, Inc.About this encyclopedia
Politicization of Civil Service
Carl Johan Dahlström
The term politicization of civil service refers to the introduction of political considerations into actions traditionally carried out by the civil service, thus changing political-administrative relations. There are three established ways of studying this process, reflecting somewhat different understandings of the basic concept. The first tradition concerns how civil servants are appointed and promoted. In politicized appointment and promotion processes, merit-based criteria are replaced by political criteria. Scholars in the second tradition study the political preferences of civil servants, often using attitudinal data, with the aim of answering questions such as whether the civil service is dominated by the political left or the political right. In the third tradition, the actions of civil servants are analyzed to assess to what extent civil servants are directly involved in political decision making. If they are involved, it is seen as an indication of politicization. In this entry, political-administrative relations are first Underlying ...