Citation

Striped Pants versus Fat Cats: Ambassadorial Performance of Career Diplomats and Political Appointees

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Abstract:

In spite of general civil service reforms and specific legislation directing that ambassadorships “should normally be accorded to career members of the [Foreign] Service,” presidents continue to fill ambassadorships with a mix of political appointees and career diplomats; appointees currently hold about one-third of all ambassadorships. This practice, in the face of both congressional and bureaucratic opposition, runs contrary to the decline in bureaucratic performance predicted by both the conventional wisdom, which holds that ambassadors in particular need extensive diplomatic expertise, and some recent scholarly literature, which holds that in general careerists perform better than political appointees in government agencies. Using a new dataset on bureaucratic performance constructed from embassy inspection reports and surveys by the State Department’s Office of the Inspector General (OIG) obtained through the Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) process, I evaluate the influence of appointed ambassadors on embassy performance. I
draw out the implications of the findings for our understanding of appointment politics and bureaucratic performance more generally.
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Association:
Name: Southern Political Science Association
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http://www.spsa.net


Citation:
URL: http://citation.allacademic.com/meta/p698301_index.html
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MLA Citation:

Haglund, Evan. "Striped Pants versus Fat Cats: Ambassadorial Performance of Career Diplomats and Political Appointees" Paper presented at the annual meeting of the Southern Political Science Association, The Hyatt Regency New Orleans, New Orleans, Louisiana, Jan 09, 2014 <Not Available>. 2014-12-10 <http://citation.allacademic.com/meta/p698301_index.html>

APA Citation:

Haglund, E. , 2014-01-09 "Striped Pants versus Fat Cats: Ambassadorial Performance of Career Diplomats and Political Appointees" Paper presented at the annual meeting of the Southern Political Science Association, The Hyatt Regency New Orleans, New Orleans, Louisiana <Not Available>. 2014-12-10 from http://citation.allacademic.com/meta/p698301_index.html

Publication Type: Conference Paper/Unpublished Manuscript
Review Method: Peer Reviewed
Abstract: In spite of general civil service reforms and specific legislation directing that ambassadorships “should normally be accorded to career members of the [Foreign] Service,” presidents continue to fill ambassadorships with a mix of political appointees and career diplomats; appointees currently hold about one-third of all ambassadorships. This practice, in the face of both congressional and bureaucratic opposition, runs contrary to the decline in bureaucratic performance predicted by both the conventional wisdom, which holds that ambassadors in particular need extensive diplomatic expertise, and some recent scholarly literature, which holds that in general careerists perform better than political appointees in government agencies. Using a new dataset on bureaucratic performance constructed from embassy inspection reports and surveys by the State Department’s Office of the Inspector General (OIG) obtained through the Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) process, I evaluate the influence of appointed ambassadors on embassy performance. I
draw out the implications of the findings for our understanding of appointment politics and bureaucratic performance more generally.


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