Strategic appointments

Anthony Bertelli, Sven E. Feldmann

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


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 such as personnel administration, representative bureaucracy, and the devolution of administrative authority.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)19-38
Number of pages20
JournalJournal of Public Administration Research and Theory
Issue number1
StatePublished - Jan 2007

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Sociology and Political Science
  • Public Administration
  • Marketing


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