Article: article from journal or magazin.
The slow transformation of Swiss federal administrative elites
International Review of Administrative Sciences
This article sets out to study the profile of Swiss administrative elites at federal level by showing how their profile has evolved in the light of what has come to be known as the wave of New Public Management (NPM), which has benefited from a very fertile ground in Switzerland. These elites correspond to a specific institutional order, in relation to specific organizational structures and workings, and have specific characteristics in terms of career paths and academic background. However, the administrative reforms that have been rolled out since the 1980s have transformed the institutional order within which executives of the federal administration evolve. This article analyses the extent to which these transformations have had an impact on the characteristics of these elites, through indicators such as academic capital, social capital, and career path within and outside the administration. The results show a slow but significant transformation in the profiles of these elites towards an increasing managerialization, reflecting that of the context in which they evolve.Points for practitioners The relationship between politics and the administration is naturally shaped by individuals but is closely dependent on the profiles of the players. They are currently undergoing a transformation in the wake of administrative reforms, and also of the changing profiles of both the political and administrative players. Gaining an insight into the slow transformation of the profiles of administrative elites therefore sheds light on the political-administrative nexus. The gradual managerialization of the administrative elite highlighted in this article also allows for a better understanding of which professional experiences, qualifications and skills are valued today within the senior civil service in Switzerland.
administrative elites, professionalism/professions, public sector reform
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