Appendix I: Case Discussions
This appendix contains discussions of each case in terms of the coding of territorial penetration, meritocracy, and responsiveness. The purpose of the appendix is to provide background knowledge for the reader of my coding of these three dimensions of administrative capcity in democracies from 1800 to 2010.
The appendix is organized as follows: Each analytical period (pre-interwar, interwar, Cold War, and post-Cold War) is the superstructure. Under each period, both democratic survivors and breakdown cases are included. In the dataset and coding process, a case is excluded if its democracy breaks down. Stability may apply to one of the following scenarios: continuation; the state ceases to exist; the state is occupied by a foreign power. The democratic spell(s) of each case is marked in brackets after the country name. As a matter of simplicity, the last year of analysis in each period is marked in both cases of stability and breakdown.
If a democratic spell extends beyond either the pre-interwar, interwar, or Cold War periods, it is either split between the periods or placed in one of them only. For each case, my assessment of the capacity dimensions is discussed.
Note: Currently, case discussions lack for Northwestern European cases and Western settler colonies as well as the later years in the Southern European cases.
The pre-interwar period (1800-1917)
The interwar period (1918-1945), incl. WWII
The administration was ineffective throughout the period. Problems of territorial penetration of state authority, low quality and weak professionalism of bureaucrats as well as unresponsiveness were dominant features of the civil service and very much three sides of the same coin. Institutional development and penetration of state institutions started in 1861-1881 with Buenos Aires’ as center and remaining provinces as periphery (Rock 1986: 62; Kurtz 2013: 105) but the actual functioning of the federal system was never settled as the interior provinces could not get a share of the export taxes coming through the harbor of Buenos Aries (Gustafson 1990; Romero 1994: 4; Kurtz 2013: 105). One strong indication has been a comparatively weak history of tax revenue collection despite extraordinary wealth (Bergman 2003: 613; vom Hau 2008). Another indication is the extensive use of interventions in provincial politics, including the ousting of unresponsive senators and appointment of party loyalists as governors via local caudillos, which were common under Yrigoyen (Rock 1986: 377; Horowitz 2008: 70).
Regarding meritocracy, there is little doubt in the literature that provincial resistance and the early consolidation of middle and working class political power caused, first, patronage and clientelism in the civil administration from the late 19th century through most of the 20th century generally, and, second, a particularly extensive use by Yrigoyen in both his presidencies (1916-1922 and 1928-1930) of political appointments to the civil service with a direct purpose of politicization and control (see e.g. Rock 1972; Rock 1991: 436, 441, 450; Romero 1994: 50; Horowitz 2008: 65-67; Kurtz 2013: 192, 195). The party used its local ‘bosses’ or caudillos to distribute public sector jobs and funds for electoral purposes (Horowitz 2008: 69-70), and despite the judicial system’s relative autonomy from political pressure (see Iaryczower, Spiller, and Tommasi 2000: 3; Jouet 2008: 419), they managed at several occasions to hinder people’s imprisonment (Horowitz 2008: 74).
Despite the intensions of Yrigoyen (Rock 1986: 389), popular support for the Radical Party and control of public sector growth was not obtained (Horowitz 2008: 65). The tax administration was generally inefficient, particularly when it reached the western outskirts or interior of the country (Bergman 2003: 613) and the period until 1930 was generally known for factionalism between center and periphery (Gustafson 1990: 166-169) as well as petty corruption and inefficiency of the public sector (Rock 1991: 450-451).
Administrative effectiveness prevailed throughout the period. Much like in Germany, the Austrian bureaucracy stayed in power after WWI as the only stable pillar surviving the Habsburg era. Heindl (2006), in his overview of the development of Austrian bureaucracy from the Habsburg era to the present, points to the remarkable resilience of the bureaucratic structures through regime changes, world wars, and civic unrest, and one civil war. As in Germany, the Austrian kings Joseph I and Joseph II achieved centralization of the bureaucracy gradually from the mid-18th century creating an administrative structure that penetrated the mountainous territory (Heindl 2006: 35-36). In fact, to the extent that the Vienna administration was illegitimate in the years after WWI its government institutions were consolidated by the League of Nations requirement of centralization (Berger 2010: 382).
The administrative effectiveness under the Habsburg regime is very much the same story as in Germany. From 1760, Joseph I had initiated ideas of meritocratic instead of family ties or social prestige hirings. Nobles were then gradually rooted out of power in the upper ranks, and a ministerial system was established (Heindl 2006: 36-37). According to Heindl (2006: 39-40), his successor, Joseph II, had consolidated a professional officialdom by 1780 striking down on corruption, yet, at the same time granting tenure status and outsourcing disciplinary committee rulings to civil servants and thus making them very hard to fire. The next king, Francis, tried to reinstall bureaucracy as an obedient monarchical service but the bureaucrats resisted. Yet, despite developing a certain measure of caste spirit and sloppiness as they relied on their autonomy, they still sharply upheld constitutional legality (Heindl 2006: 43-44). The 1850s was a crucial decade as Francis managed to order the lines of command by controlling the bureaucrats while the bureaucracy continued managing their own staff on meritocratic criteria (Heindl 2006: 44-46). Until 1918, the bureaucracy thus developed a less statist but more action-oriented stance towards modernization thus keeping itself in touch with the basic wishes of the parliamentary system installed in 1867 (Heindl 2006: 47-48; Berger 2010: 380).
The revolution in 1918 neither changed the rule system nor the composition of the bureaucracy (Gulick 1948: 97, 109). As the assessment by Seton-Watson and Bideleux and Jeffries goes, the Habsburg and Austrian first republic bureaucracy was “relatively competent, conscientious, impartial, professional, law-abiding and free from corruption” (see Møller and Skanning 2010: 338). True, there were worries that the bureaucracy could not be managed by a new and weak political system – particularly regarding the attitude towards civil service wage cuts and layoffs deemed necessary due to the bureaucratic oversize created during WWI (Gerlach and Campbell 2000: 52; Botz 2014: 125). However, from the moment the Austrian government initiated the wage cuts and firings implementation was slow but stable, despite protests and strikes by railway workers in particular (Carsten 1986: 54). In this potential conflict and generally in policy implementation, the Austrian bureaucrats remained neutral servants of the state, beyond party politics but also their own corporate interests. They served social democratic as well as Christian socialist governments in relative harmony as a modernizing force (Berger 2010: 380). This stands in sharp contrast to the situation in many policy areas in Weimar Germany.
The administration was ineffective from 1918 to 1937 and effective from 1938 through 1939. Territorial penetration was established in the same period as the state territory was consolidated. Then, a financial infrastructure was set up (Witte 2009: 20, 71). Already before independence from Holland, France’s victory over Austria in 1792 made Belgium an appendage of France. This contributed to the rationalization and centralization of administrative authority with division into nine departments along Napoleonic lines. Importantly, a civil registry replaced the Catholic Church as monitor of citizens (Cook 2002: 50). These civil service systems were upheld during WWI (Cook 2002: 102).
Compared to France, Belgium is a less ambiguous case in terms of meritocracy and responsiveness but, one may argue, the peculiar development of the Napoleonic Francophone system still makes Belgium a borderline case. Belgium may regarded as part of the patrimonial group in Europe as France (Cook 2002: 50; see Ertman 1997: 139-151). Napoleonic reforms bureaucratized the Belgian administration. This leads some scholars (e.g. Dierickx 2003: 320) to conclude that Belgium had a ‘Weberian’ administration until at least the 1960s based on a sharp distinction between politicians and administrators as well as recruitment and promotion via merit. While Napoleonic reforms certainly set Belgium off from the Southern European patrimonial states, the literature investigating administrative developments closely during the 19th and early 20th centuries unanimously conclude that meritocracy – while present on paper - was far from dominating actual administrative appointments (e.g. Thijs and Van de Walle 2005; Witte 2009; Craeybeckx 2009). More particularly, the bureaucratic reforms in Belgium of the late 18th century were heavily inspired by France’s (De Meur and Berg-Schlosser 2000: 61; Capoccia 2005: 127-133) and the failure of them equally so.
The reform in 1848 tried to separate politicians and administrators and while this succeeded in precluding civil servants from being parliamentarians, the administration remained malfunctioning (Hondeghem 2000: 122; Thijs and Van de Walle 2005: 39-40). This was because of the prevalence of a system in which the low-level civil service positions were filled via examinations while top-level positions were systematically politicized and some kept safe for certain parties from government to government (Hondeghem 2000: 123). Even though the 1918 change in government away from the Catholics changed the dynamics of politicization (Witte 2009: 126), the pattern of politicization continued into the 1930s, including the reservation of administrative positions for the Catholic Party (Thijs and Van de Walle 2005: 43). The otherwise reformist Belgian kings in the interwar period attempted to diminish politicization by appointing ministers themselves but since these ministers then had the discretion of choosing their civil service agents, politicization remained intact (Craeybeckx 2009: 144, 159).
After the failure of two reform commissions in the 1920s (see Thijs and Van de Walle 2005: 41), the 1937 Camu report marked a watershed in administrative developments (Dierickx 2003: 331; Thijs and Van de Walle 2005: 43; Craeybeckx 2009: 189). The report showed an unbroken pattern of malfunctioning (politicized) administration from the first such reports in 1859 (Thijs and Van de Walle 2005: 41). Hitherto, political parties had exploited existing loopholes in the legislation on employment to the civil service. The problem was less serious in matters of recruitment but politicization was widespread in promotions. This was basically resolved by Camu’s successful initiation of a new Permanent Recruitment Secretariat protecting bureaucrats at all levels (Dierickx 2003: 331). Some loopholes still existed from 1938 (Dierickx 2003: 331; Craeybeckx 2009: 189) but the 1937 reform basically rooted out politicization in the same way that, for instance, the Northcote-Trevelyan reforms and Pendleton Acts did in Great Britain and the US, respectively (Thijs and Van de Walle 2005: 43).
The Belgian administration was more responsive than the French ditto. The statist and elitist Étatisme did not exist in Belgium. Thus, while civil servants were treated as civil servants with tenure rights, they functioned as truly public servants from the 19th century serving the general interest (Hondeghem 2000: 122). Even those politicized high-level servants previously employed by the Catholics but remaining in office after governmental shifts in the interwar period kept serving the general interest via that of the governments of the day (Hondeghem 2000: 123).
CHILE (1918-1925; 1934-)
The administration was ineffective throughout the period. Territorial penetration of state institutions was fulfilled in the late 19th century. The public sector quickly grew and became a strong venue for middle sector employment giving rise to bureaucratic and professional classes during the first two decades of the 20th century (Kurtz 2013: 93). However, even though a number of senior bureaucrats were left in seat from government to government, meritocracy was never firmly established in any state agencies (Remmer 1984: 64, 84, 245). In 1919, positions in the public bureaucracy were very much part of the cycle of political patronage, changing little with the installation of the new parliamentary system in 1920 (Collier and Sater 2004: 172). Rather than any institutionalized system of patronage and politicization as in contemporary Uruguay, the appointment of bureaucrats was much less predictable and more diverse across agencies with public servants being dismissed for political reasons while many achieved long careers despite a lack of effort and qualification (Collier and Sater 2004: 188; Silva 2008: Ch. 2). Thus, Chile in the early 1920s was compared with 18th century England: Public funds and projects were mismanagement by civil servants and few policies were innovated in a coordinated and coherent fashion by the ministerial bureaucracies – a testimony to the Chilean civil service’s unresponsiveness and low quality (Collier and Sater 2004: 192-193).
With the inauguration of autocracy in 1925 and Ibanez as President in 1927, a wave of major reforms transformed the state administration. It is generally acknowledged (see Haring 1931: 23-24; Drake 1991: 272-273; Silva 1994; 2008; Kurtz 2013: 144-147) that these reforms led to a technocratic revolution. Within a few years from 1927 to 1931, the departments and agencies were streamlined, corruption was rooted out, and while the old oligarchic senior bureaucrats were purged, a new group of technocrats were installed as leading figures in all key ministries (taxation, revenue collection, and finance among others, see Cavarozzi 1978: 257; Kurtz 2013: 144-145) (Silva 2008: 70). Throughout the 1930s and 1940s, these bureaucratic elites enjoyed relative autonomy in policy-making and dominated the entire administration with an impartial whip as evident in the implementation of the giant CORFO industrialization project (Silva 1994: 286-289). Yet, the technocratic revolution was temporary in nature as it was based on an “ideology of industrialization” empowered by charismatic presidents (Ibanez, Alessandri, and Cerda) rather than law (Silva 1994: 289). Thus, it was partially interrupted at numerous occasions, including by the determinate efforts of President Jorge Alessandri in the 1950s who replaced the original technocratic elite with a new one (Silva 2008: 106-107). Grindle (2010: 5-7, 17-18) shows that despite the reforms of the 1927-1931 period, including the labor code of 1925, considerable patronage and politicization remained. Because of the absence of any legal regulation, politicization remained vibrant and indeed possible even in the 1930s, it would be wrong to assume the presence of meritocracy. Only successful bureaucratic-political cooperation and thus responsiveness was a temporary achievement brought about by agreement on the contents of the industrialization strategy.
The administration was ineffective in 1918 but effective from 1919 onwards. The barrier to administrative effectiveness consisted of disseminating the Prague-based administration to the rest of the new state. This penetration parallels that of extending the power and presence of the security forces. Through 1918 and 1919, the Czech leadership took over the majority of the stationed Austrian civil servants and distributed them alongside police forces in the provinces. In Bohemia and other northern provinces, the pre-WWI administrative structures were maintained only to be occupied by the Czech-Austrian servants whereas the Austrian legal framework and tradition of extensive local administrative autonomy was adopted (Seton-Watson 1945: 146; Benes 1973: 52-53). The Slovak administrative units, relying on much less firm legal frameworks, were occupied by the better educated and organized Czechs (Benes 1973: 82). Through the 1920s, Czech control of Slovak ministerial sections grew, ending in further centralization in 1927. While the dominance of Czechs among the civil servants caused resentment among Slovak servants (Mamatey 1973a: 124, 134), this and other measures of centralized control were generally successful and, at least at first, appreciated by the Slovaks (Seton-Watson 1945: 125; Benes 1973: 93; Hendrych 1993: 43).
The Czech administrative unit, equal to the Czechoslovak administration as such (Rothschild 1974: 113), was professional, relatively competent, law-abiding, conscientious, and free from corruption throughout the interwar period (Seton-Watson 1945: 146; Hendrych 1993: 41; Møller and Skaaning 2010: 338). This was characteristic already before WWI owing to the Austrian-Habsburg administrative structures organized along German principles that dominated in Bohemia, Moravia, and Silesia (Benes 1973: 88; Møller and Skaaning 2010: 325, 334). Janos (2000: 107-108) notes that on balance Czechoslovakia’s bureaucracy resembled that of East Prussia’s. However, while the court system was firmly autonomous and lived up to ‘Western standards’ of impartiality (Taborsky 1945: 131; Bradley 2000: 97), there was significant politicization of the extant administration during the 1920s and 1930s (Taborsky 1945: 139). As a by-product of the ethnic dominance of Czechs, what Bradley (2000: 97) has claimed to be the only governmental flaw in the constitutional setup, Germans were purged from the administration in 1919-1920 and substituted by Czechs (Bruegel 1973: 183-186). This ensured remarkable responsiveness to the political signals of the triumvirate of the Castle (a ministerial coordination group led by the president) and Petka (party leaders forging parliamentary coalitions) groups and the presidents Masaryk and Benes (Orzoff 2008; Zückert 2008: 337).
Even though this threatened the impartiality of the administration, the administration generally acted with impartiality, also towards ethnic minorities that were not represented among civil servants – biased policies were generally implemented by order of the government and within legal boundaries (Bruegel 1973: 183-186). Furthermore, the strong Austrian Civil Code kept party patronage to a minimum and directly hindered political hiring and firing (Taborsky 1945: 138). Whereas this Austrian heritage certainly also induced rule focus and stubbornness, the administration generally worked smoothly with shifting government coalitions and in interaction with citizens. The civil servants had become loyal and humble servants of a republican, democratic order from 1918 (Taborsky 1945: 144; Bradley 2000: 97). On balance, meritocracy and responsiveness were strong throughout the interwar period.
The administration was ineffective throughout the period. Territorial penetration followed the lines of the dissemination of military resource supremacy obtained by the Treaty of Tartu in early 1920 – specifically, penetration could build on the administrative autonomy and unification of the major regions and towns of the Tallinn area and Northern Livland from 1905 (Smith et al. 2002: 9, 11, 13). Despite the relatively easy penetration of a small territory, the quality of the administration was much harder to obtain. As is clear from all accounts, Estonian administration, in contrast to Finland’s, had to be built from scratch in 1920 in terms of organization, codification, and professionalization of the civil service – there were only intellectual legacies (Graham 1927: 264; Hiden and Salmon 1991: 44; Siaroff 1999: 108).
The effectiveness of the Estonian administration is generally assessed favorably in comparison to Lithuania and Latvia as well as to the rest of Eastern Europe (see e.g. Bennich-Björkman 2001: 17; Møller and Skaaning 2010: 340). For instance, it is noted that codification and professionalization started immediately after independence along a Scandinavian and German model, and that as a consequence, low- and high-level civil servants were recruited on the basis of merit, honesty, and loyalty of the state (Verheijen and Rabrenovic 1999: 8; Randma 2001: 42). However, the peculiar mix of German and Russian legacies of the pre-WWI period with heavy use of politicization in recruitment and the expectance of loyalty to a single authoritarian leader rather than a democratically elected body enfeebled both meritocracy and responsiveness during the interwar period. Thus, the formally installed meritocracy codified with the civil service act of 1924 never materialized and was constantly circumvented by political interference (Verheijen and Rabrenovic 1999: 12; Palidauskaite, Pevkur, and Reinholde 2010: 46, 68). Politicization also continued along Russian traditions in the judiciary (Graham 1927: 265). Tellingly, in all accounts Estonia is placed as generally administratively ineffective and prone for corruption alongside the rest of Eastern Europe, except Czechoslovakia, because of the Russian administrative tradition (see e.g. Aarebrot and Berglund 1995: 215, 218; Verheijen and Rabrenovic 1999: 10; Meyer-Sahling 2009: 521; Møller and Skaaning 2010: 340). Therefore, neither meritocracy nor responsiveness was obtained.
The Finnish administration was effective throughout the period. State formation at the most minimal level was intimately connected with the growth and bureaucratization of the administration. An effective, professional administration was established as an autonomous entity under Swedish rule in the late 18th century. The Swedish nobility in the administration quickly pledged loyalty to the Finnish state (Alapuro 1988: 22; Karvonen 2000: 129; Kirby 2006: 39, 45). Through the upheavals of the 19th and the early 20th centuries, including Russian annexation in 1809 and the liberal movement of Fennomen in the 1880s, this bureaucracy remained the constant in Finnish politics (Kirby 2006: 74). So much so that even as parliamentary elections with universal suffrage to the Diet were introduced in 1907, and the country gained independence in 1917, Finland remained an extremely bureaucratized country led by an ‘iron fist of rationality’ (Nousiainen 1988: 230; see also Alapuro 1988: Chs. 2, 10; Karvonen 2000: 129; Mann 2004: 67). The communes and counties were long established as integrative parts of the central administration in Helsinki and with the adoption of Finnish as the official language of the administration in the late 19th century, the cohesion and lines of command were strengthened (Alapuro 1988: 23, 95).
In the heat of battle in 1917-1918, the Social Democrats, should they win government power, could question the responsiveness of the still bourgeois administration in terms of social legislation, but after the revolution, no elites were excluded from the bureaucracy and the ministries attained the position of a neutral mediator in the State Council (Alapuro 1988: 199, 205; Nousiainen 1988: 230). Servants with Russian loyalties were effectively purged and the administration emerged unaltered from the civil war (Engman 1989: 107, 112). Territorial penetration, meritocracy, and responsiveness thus survived the introduction of democracy and the civil war.