Weber in the Balkans: contested party–state relations in reforming the civil service in Albania and FYR Macedonia, 2000–13
Title: Weber in the Balkans: contested party–state relations in reforming the civil service in Albania and FYR Macedonia, 2000–13
Author: GJOKSI, Nisida
Citation: Florence : European University Institute, 2018
Series/Number: EUI PhD theses; Department of Political and Social Sciences
What drives politicians to adopt and implement civil service reforms differently? What explains the variation in politicization and professionalization in the state bureaucracy across countries and across governments? Why do certain incumbents politicize less the state administration and others professionalize more? This thesis answers these questions by contributing to the literature of postcommunist studies, comparative politics and political economy in two ways. The thesis first unpacks outcomes that stand between the patrimonial and Weberian bureaucracy along a twodimensional framework on levels of politicization and professionalization, in order to explain the political incentives and circumstances that explain this variation. Challenging current explanations on state reform as a by-product of political competition or historical legacies the thesis argues that political parties’ incentives play a central role in reforming bureaucracies. More precisely, I argue that while, politicization, in terms of political hiring and firing, is a function of resources’ needs of parties to strengthen their own organizational survival, professionalization is a function of the electoral pressure on parties to deliver public good. The incentives political parties face to provide more effectively public goods and the incentives to use state resources for organizational needs might combine in various ways, yielding different combinations of professionalization and politicization in bureaucratic design. To explore this argument, the dissertation examines levels of politicization and professionalization in Albania and Macedonia1 over time in the period between 2000-2013. The dissertation finds that Macedonia in contrast to Albania ended up in a highly incompetent administration because of parties’ usage of ethnic salience in order to electorally win, without the need to deliver on public good. Conversely, Albania developed a comparatively more competent administration, as incumbents had to deliver some public good in order to maintain power in comparison to competitors. Interestingly, in both countries, levels of politicization varied across time and across sectors based on party organization age, showing that older parties have lower need to use state patronage for organizational survival and hence were more capable of improving the state bureaucracy.
Defence date: 17 May 2018; Examining Board: Professor László Bruszt, formerly EUI/ Scuola Normale Superiore ; Professor Hanspeter Kriesi, European University Institute ; Professor Isabela Mares, Columbia University ; Professor Jan-Meyer Sahling, Nottingham University
Type of Access: embargoedAccess