Who Runs Public Administration? A Longitudinal Study of Technocratic Ministerial Appointments in Post-Communist Romania (1991–2021)

Cătălin Raiu, Laura Mina-Raiu


Starting from the traditional public administration dichotomy ‘power versus knowledge’, concerned with the cleavage between politicians and bureaucrats, this paper’s main purpose is to reframe a classic theoretical model, by placing the spotlight on a new, under-conceptualized public sector actor: the technocrat. Second, the paper performs empirical research starting from an own-build comprehensive database that includes all the ministers appointed in the Romanian Government during a 30-year time[1]frame (October 1991-November 2021). In spite of being a rather young democracy with a communist public sector legacy, research findings indicate that in Romania we can clearly identify patterns similar to other European countries (primarily Italy), consisting of appointing technocrats to the cabinet. Such nominations are discussed in correlation with the advancements of new theories of democracy and public administration, imprinted with Neoliberalism, New Public Management, and Good Governance paradigms.


technocrat; politician; democracy; knowledge; power.

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DOI: https://doi.org/10.24193/tras.70E.6 Creative Commons License
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