Strategic Appointments

36 Pages Posted: 18 Apr 2006

See all articles by Anthony M. Bertelli

Anthony M. Bertelli

Bocconi University - DONDENA - Carlo F. Dondena Centre for Research on Social Dynamics; Pennsylvania State University

Sven E. Feldmann

Melbourne Business School

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This article develops an institutional spatial theory of presidential appointments to administrative agencies that falls within the spirit of a recent line of theoretical research toward an institutional theory of the presidency. We show that when bureaucrats implement policy that results from negotiation with constituents, the ally principle - appointing political allies - holds only as a knife-edge condition. Presidents are better served by appointing administrators whose preferences partially offset the influence of organized interests. The incentives described have implications for the selection of a whole range of bureaucratic personnel at various levels generating significant implications for the study of public management on issues including personnel administration, representative bureaucracy, and the devolution of administrative authority.

Keywords: administrative appointments, ally principle, agency, bargaining

JEL Classification: D73, D78

Suggested Citation

Bertelli, Anthony M. and Feldmann, Sven E., Strategic Appointments. Journal of Public Administration Research and Theory, Forthcoming, Available at SSRN:

Anthony M. Bertelli (Contact Author)

Bocconi University - DONDENA - Carlo F. Dondena Centre for Research on Social Dynamics ( email )

Via Roentgen 1
Milan, 20136

Pennsylvania State University ( email )

University Park, PA 16802-3306
United States


Sven E. Feldmann

Melbourne Business School ( email )

200 Leicester Street
Carlton, Victoria 3053 3186
+61 3 9349 8171 (Phone)
+61 3 9349 8144 (Fax)

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