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Democracy and the State in the New Southern Europe$
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Richard Gunther, P. Nikiforos Diamandouros, and Dimitri A. Sotiropoulos

Print publication date: 2006

Print ISBN-13: 9780199202812

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: May 2009

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199202812.001.0001

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Old Problems and New Challenges: The Enduring and Changing Functions of Southern European State Bureaucracies 1

Old Problems and New Challenges: The Enduring and Changing Functions of Southern European State Bureaucracies 1

Chapter:
(p.197) 5 Old Problems and New Challenges: The Enduring and Changing Functions of Southern European State Bureaucracies1
Source:
Democracy and the State in the New Southern Europe
Author(s):

Dimitri A. Sotiropoulos (Contributor Webpage)

Publisher:
Oxford University Press
DOI:10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199202812.003.0005

Despite variations among Southern European state bureaucracies, there are certain common features of the Southern European bureaucratic model, such as political clientelism at the higher echelons of the bureaucracy and at the entry level; an uneven distribution of resources and infrastructure in the public sector; legal rigidity and excessive legalism; and—with the exception of Spain—lack of an administrative elite. Corruption and inefficiency are also common, but their extent is debatable. During democratic transition and consolidation, Southern European bureaucracies were not “cleansed” from collaborators of the authoritarian regimes. In the period of democratic persistence, most attempts at implementing public management reforms in Southern Europe failed. However, decentralization progressed immensely it Italy and Spain, but hardly in Greece and Portugal. Except for Spain, professionalism was not achieved. Even though extensive politicization persists, the traditional features of South European bureaucracies have started fading.

Keywords:   politicization, political clientelism, administrative elites, corruption, inefficiency, reform failure, democratic persistence

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