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The relationship between civil servants and politicians is a fascinating one. Due to their mutual interdependence, both groups are required to cooperate but at the same time there is also a continuous risk of tension and conflict. Politicians might fear being overshadowed by their technical experts while civil servants are wary of being deprived of their professional autonomy. The tension reflects a broader concern in policymaking of the often contradictory demands for both efficiency and legitimacy. For reasons of efficiency it is important that the civil service has a certain degree of independence and detachment of politics. The requirement of democratically legitimate and accountable decision making, however, asks for steering and control from the political level.keywordscivil servantadministrative leveleuropean parliamentparty membershipministerial cabinetthese keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationCivil Servants and Politics: A Delicate Balance
EditorsC. Neuhold, S.M.R.L. Vanhoonacker, L.F.M. Verhey
Place of PublicationBasingstoke
ISBN (Electronic)9781137316813
ISBN (Print)9780230304833, 9781349338726
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jan 2013


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