Executives in Comparative Context

Klaus H. Goetz

in Governing Europe

Published in print March 2003 | ISBN: 9780199250158
Published online November 2003 | e-ISBN: 9780191599439 | DOI:
 Executives in Comparative Context

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The comparative study of European executives stands at the interface of two subdisciplines of political science – comparative government (which focuses on the primarily political and governmental aspects of the executive) and comparative public administration (which focuses on the bureaucratic parts of the executive that extend beneath its thin political veneer). The tension between politics and administration is central to understanding the institutionalization of executives: it is first about the tasks that executives are expected to perform and the most appropriate executive organization; and second about the relation between the formal office and the office holders. The first main section of the chapter analyses how these two constitutive tensions in the institutionalization of executives play out in different countries; the discussion is with reference to executive coordination and the organization of centres of government. Further sections discuss the evaluation of executives, and executive reform. Overall, the analysis of the state of, and trends in, executive development suggests that the institutional foundations and fortifications of the executive may be less solid than is generally assumed.

Keywords: administration; bureaucracy; centres of government; comparative government; comparative public administration; constitutive tensions; Europe; European executives; executive coordination; executive evaluation; executive reform; executives; government; government; institutionalization; organization of government; politics; public administration

Chapter.  8894 words.  Illustrated.

Subjects: European Union

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