Changing Relationships between Politicians and Bureaucrats in Contemporary


  • Nadia Carboni


This article investigates the extent to which administrative reforms have affected traditional political and administrative roles, by empirical accounts of the main changes to the Italian Senior Civil Service. The analysis is conducted in the field of the central government which was involved in a NPM inspired reform process during the Nineties and which introduced the principle of separation between management and politics. The separation of politics from administration has paradoxically resulted in the search for new forms of political control and mechanisms of integration between political and bureaucratic élites. The gradual introduction of reforms combined with attempts to obtain a more responsive bureaucracy by increasing political control seems to have had a positive effect on Italian government, moving the political-administrative relationship from a ‘self-restraint’ to a ‘complementarity’ pattern. As explained in the article some changes in this respect may be viewed as controversial.

Author Biography

Nadia Carboni

Nadia Carboni, Ph.D., Faculty of Political Science, University of Bologna.


How to Cite

Carboni, N. (2014). Changing Relationships between Politicians and Bureaucrats in Contemporary. International Public Management Review, 11(1), 90–109. Retrieved from