Bureaucratic Representation and the Rejection Hypothesis: A Longitudinal Study of the European Commission's Staff Composition (1980–2013)

Magali Gravier*, Camille Roth

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalJournal articleResearchpeer-review

Abstract

This article analyzes the evolution of the staff composition of the European Commission from 1980 to 2013 using the theory of representative bureaucracy. The article first demonstrates how the Commission formulates guidelines which aim at offering fair levels of representation to each member state. However, comparing recruitment targets and actual staffing figures reveals very heterogeneous staff levels. Some member states enjoy unexpectedly high levels of representation whereas others present very low levels. The latter are particularly intriguing and open the door to the formulation of a "rejection hypothesis." This hypothesis challenges one of the foundations of the theory of representative bureaucracy and leads us to suggest that the theory be enhanced in order to take into account its context of implementation in terms of consolidated or contested statehood, which in turn may explain the phenomena of rejected offers of bureaucratic representation.
Original languageEnglish
JournalJournal of Public Administration Research and Theory
Volume30
Issue number1
Pages (from-to)4-21
Number of pages18
ISSN1053-1858
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - Jan 2020

Bibliographical note

Published online: 28 March 2019.

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