Appointments to Public Administration in Norway: No Room for Political Parties?

Elin Haugsgjerd Allern

in Party Patronage and Party Government in European Democracies

Published in print June 2012 | ISBN: 9780199599370
Published online September 2012 | e-ISBN: 9780191741517 | DOI:

Series: Comparative Politics

Appointments to Public Administration in Norway: No Room for Political Parties?

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This chapter systematically explores the issue of party patronage in Norway—a country where the role of parties, including partisanship, in connection with public appointments is traditionally assumed in comparative literature to be very limited or non-existent. The key question is to what extent, within public administration and semi-public institutions, political parties—de jure and de facto—control the allocation of positions. The assessment also distinguishes between the minister, the cabinet, and the party as appointing political agent, and maps the agent’s motivations and selection criteria. Overall, the chapter demonstrates that appointments to relatively few but important positions within the state administration are related to government, but less to party government, in Norway. Politicians appoint, but the room for party patronage is scant. The findings are discussed in the light of the general institutional and party (system) characteristics traditionally assumed to shape the role of parties in public appointments.

Keywords: public appointments; parties; party government; political hierarchy; bureaucratic autonomy; weberian ideal; Nordic countries; Norway

Chapter.  9351 words.  Illustrated.

Subjects: Comparative Politics

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