Pseudo-Bureaucracies as tools for Despotic Leaders: The Case of the 18th Century Government of the Marquis of Pombal


  • Miguel Pereira Lopes


The present study analyses the government of the Marquis of Pombal in the 18th Century Portugal in order to understand how despotic leaders use modern bureaucratic structures to gain and keep their ruling legitimacy. We conclude that despotic leaders set forth “pseudo-bureaucracies” mostly by centralizing decision-making and relying on a small and dependent self-serving ruling elite group of people. At the end of this paper, we outline several implications of this conclusion for the bureaucratic politics and politicization debate in organization studies.

Author Biography

Miguel Pereira Lopes

Miguel Pereira Lopes is an Associate Professor at the School of Social and Political Sciences, University of Lisbon.


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How to Cite

Lopes, M. P. (2023). Pseudo-Bureaucracies as tools for Despotic Leaders: The Case of the 18th Century Government of the Marquis of Pombal. International Public Management Review, 22(1), 77–90. Retrieved from




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