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Agents of past principals: The lasting effects of incumbents on the political ideology of bureaucrats

Kappe, R; Schuster, C; (2021) Agents of past principals: The lasting effects of incumbents on the political ideology of bureaucrats. European Journal of Political Research 10.1111/1475-6765.12473. (In press).

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Abstract

Understanding representation is central to politics. Numerous studies assess under which conditions politicians share citizens’ ideological preferences. However, under which conditions bureaucrats share citizens’ ideological preferences has not been systematically studied. Yet, bureaucratic preferences shape policy outcomes. Our paper thus studies why bureaucrats are more right or left-wing than citizens in some countries and points of time, yet not others. We theorize that political ideologies of past incumbents shape this variation. Incumbents can select ideologically aligned bureaucrats and socialize bureaucrats into ideological preferences; moreover, prospective bureaucrats may self-select into ideologically aligned governments. As bureaucratic tenure exceeds political tenure, this politicization has lasting effects. Survey data from 87 countries supports this argument: bureaucrats are more left-leaning than citizens in countries with longer prior rule by economically left-wing governments, and more right-wing in countries with more authoritarian pasts. This suggests that incumbents continue to shape the ideological preferences of bureaucrats after leaving office.

Type: Article
Title: Agents of past principals: The lasting effects of incumbents on the political ideology of bureaucrats
DOI: 10.1111/1475-6765.12473
Publisher version: https://doi.org/10.1111/1475-6765.12473
Language: English
Additional information: This version is the author accepted manuscript. For information on re-use, please refer to the publisher's terms and conditions.
Keywords: bureaucracy, ideological congruence, representation, political control
UCL classification: UCL
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > UCL SLASH
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > UCL SLASH > Faculty of S&HS
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > UCL SLASH > Faculty of S&HS > Dept of Political Science
URI: https://discovery.ucl.ac.uk/id/eprint/10128604
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