No. 9




Politicization of Top Officials – Sign of Danger or Natural Course of Events?

14 June 2004


RiTo No. 9, 2004

  • Katri Tammekand

    Tallinn Pedagogical University master's of administration candidate

The politicization of top officials and the lack of clarity in the division of labor between administrative and political – seen as obstacles to the policy formation process – are fairly common topics for discussion.

In the theoretical plan, various role models of minister and chief of staff have been proposed ranging from a Weberian dichotomy, where both have their own definite functions and there is no overlap, to completely interwoven administrative-political relations. The present article is guided by the administrative-political typology of Aberbach et al (1981). The article is based on a pilot study conducted in spring 2003, which treated how the role of chief of staff as a top official was perceived on different levels of leadership.

In conclusion, it can be said that on the basis of the findings that there is a constant battles of wills for distribution of roles. The main sources of conflict besides politicization was short-sighted governance, conflicting expectations of the chief of staff’s role and low level of trustworthiness.

Full article in Estonian