Depolitization of the public administration: towards the civil service

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Zeljko Sevic* and Aleksandra Rabrenovic**

1. Introduction
For quite some time, the problem of the relationship between policy-makers (politicians) and executors of those policies (civil servants, i.e. bureaucrats) has attracted the attention of scholars in public administration, public policy, political science, economics and law. Although, each of them agrees that this relationship is of the utmost importance for the political system as a whole, their perspectives differ. Legal science scholars are usually interested in a de jure situation, i.e. how the relationship between parliament, government and civil service (public service) is defined. Political scientists look at the issue from the viewpoint of how it influences the political process in society. Public administration scholars are more interested in a de facto situation, i.e. assessing to what extent the civil service is overwhelmed by politically appointed officials. In contrast, economists usually remain in the sphere of analyzing the efficiency of the processes undertaken by the government, assuming that politicians and civil servants work for a common cause. Certainly, daily practice has shown that all these approaches are more or less correct, highlighting the same problem, but from fairly different perspectives. In this paper we are interested in looking at the problem from an administrative science, law and economics viewpoint.
Although some developed countries would emphasize the long tradition of professionalism of their civil service, in many respects the modern professional civil service is slightly more than one hundred years’ old. Certainly, it existed before capitalism, but modern society has shown the importance of a properly organized and regulated civil service, capable of enforcing the law in an unbiased way and supporting economic and industrial development. However, we do not wish to link our approach to that of the “development public administration” concept of the 1960s and 1970s, especially that contained in U.S. literature.
We will analyze the relationship between political leadership and public administration with particular reference to the former socialist countries, especially the Federal Republic of Yugoslavia (Serbia and Montenegro). In our attempts to do so, we will look at the different aspects of politization of Public Administration on a theoretical basis, and attempt to draw conclusions which are applicable to the transition countries.
2. Politics and the Civil Service (Public Administration)
The Civil Service is a political term which has fairly different connotations from country to country. The term emerged in the late XVIII century to distinguish between civilian and military personnel of the East India Company (Drewry and Butcher, 1988). Over time, this definition evolved towards the contemporary concept which states that the civil service, at least in the British example, means "renumerated” personnel, other than those serving in the armed forces, whose functions are to administer policies formulated by or approved by national governments (Bogdanor, 1987, p. 104). This term differs, at least in the British and U.S. concepts, from that of "public service" which also includes civilian personnel employed by defence forces, army officers seconded to "civilian posts", the judiciary (public prosecutors, judges, magistrates, etc.), local government employees and those employed by governments at all levels (e.g. educators in some countries, traffic wardens, firemen, etc.). Often there is a problem as to how one should classify police officers and regular employees of the civilian intelligence agencies. Strictly speaking, they should be civil servants, but since their activities are regulated in a specific manner, they are usually excluded from the category of civil service and belong to the category "public service".
Whatever our "operational" definition of the civil service, the relationship between public bureaucracy and policy-makers who are elected officials is not of crucial importance for the functioning of the civil service, its professional standards, impartiality and social credibility. Although, legally there is a clear distinction between policy deliberation and policy implementation, few scholars and practitioners would argue that politics and administration constitute two separate aspects of government. Their mutual influence is of the utmost importance for the definition of global policy. Civil servants and politicians frequently develop networks promoting common interests. The theory is that there are four or five models depicting this relationship in a range from that of the ideal model of highly distinctive politicians and bureaucratic roles to that of the model in which the roles almost converge (Aberbach, Putnam and Rockman, 1981). Similarly, Peters outlines the five models of this relationship (Peters, 1987), which we will look at later.
Despite our usual perception of the civil service as a monolithic structure, its characteristics, texture and operating principles and procedures, might vary significantly from one policy sector to another. The nature of the politician-civil servant relationship changes not only with respect to a particular policy sector, but also over time and due to changes in the dominant political ideology of the time, or changes in political leadership. Therefore, the very nature of interactions between the political sector and public administration is influenced by many policy variables which range from political-administrative culture in a country, to various sector-specific properties. A brief cross-country comparison shows that two adverse processes are at work. In some countries there is increasing political control over public administration to ensure that bureaucracy adopts the new political signals. In others, there appears to be a relaxation of political control in order to enable public administration to adapt to external changes by virtue of its organizational capacities. Since there is also a trend of increasing influence of civic society on the overall political system in a country, the latter behaviourial pattern should happen more often. Undoubtedly, some macroeconomic structural changes (ultimately privatization) which sustain the role and influence of the market and conversely, caused a relaxation in political steering and control of public administration. Here, we see the paramount importance of the appearance of the "New Right" (Bosanquet, 1983; King, 1987; Pollitt, 1993) in theory as in practice (Baroness Thatcher years in the UK, 1979-1990, and Reaganomics in the USA).
Legal theory, in a continental European legal tradition, creates a firm separation of "executive power" into executive political power and executive administrative power. Executive political power is in the hands of politicians who are ministers in the government of the day, whilst executive administrative power is in the hands of separate governmental portfolios - ministries. The government exercising its executive political power defines the current and strategic policy issues, while ministries in their executive administrative capacity apply laws and implement policy. This concept works fairly well in those parliamentary systems whereby the government is "derived" from parliament, with the support of the majority of MPs. However, this is an attempt made by theorists to cope with the problem of inter-sections between government and public administration. Theoretically and de jure it is very easy to define the separation points between the two but in real life, the government-administration relationship is much more complex. In a presidential system, the relationship between civil servants and politicians is even more complex.
In a parliamentary system the government is, in many ways, an executive body derived from the parliamentary majority. Because of that majority, it is likely that government proposals and actions will be backed up by those politicians in parliament. In a presidential system, the civil service has to maintain ‘good’ relations with politicians sitting in both the cabinet and legislature. This fact makes the overall situation even more complicated. President and Cabinet members put pressure on public administration, whilst on the other side, the legislative body has its own ideas about the administration. American scholars (Peters, for instance) point out that there is a relatively clear and sharp distinction between the political and administrative aspects of government, established in theory and practice and developed within an Anglo-Saxon (we would prefer the term: Anglo-American) tradition. This distinction is assumed to exist for policy-making vs. administering adopted public policies, as well as for personnel involved in both processes. Some empirical studies support this assertion (Aberbach, Putnam and Rockman, 1981; Heclo, 1977), together with classical studies of a more theoretical nature concerned with the problem of what constitutes good government (Wilson, 1887; Appleby, 1949). Here, the general assumption is that the individuals in government positions must be career-neutral, regardless of whether they are civil servants or political appointees (Peters, 1994).
In the Anglo-American concept, these two groups (politicians and public servants) confront one another in the struggle for power within the government. It is also believed that elected politicians are 'better' than administrators in serving the public interests, since the dedication of "bureaucrats" to the public is generally in doubt (Niskasen, 1971; Bodiguel and Roubon, 1991). In contrast, the Americans see other democratic concepts more politicized then their own. For some political (administrative) systems this may be true. It is possible that many appointments depend upon or are heavily influenced by political considerations (Christensen, 1991). Also, the same individuals can hold either position (politician or civil servant) at different stages of their careers (Derlien, 1988; Chevalier, 1985). It is also true that the concept of the State prevails over the concept of the public in continental European Countries. Both public servants and politicians as ministers, serve the State. In Anglo-American thinking the State and Government are fairly often synonymous, which is certainly not the case in continental Europe. The Government has a time-limited executive political power, while the State as a "concentrated society" has eternal duration. Consequently, the public interest is best served, when the State is being served. The advanced concept of the State is notably lacking in the Anglo-American concept of public policy. The Anglo-American method of reasoning is more individualistic even when it deals with common values, such as public interest. Public interest is derived from within society for each individual case and is checked repeatedly at regular, or when necessary, extraordinary general elections.
Undoubtedly, a country's traditions and cultural elements can influence the extent to which the public service has been politicized. Some of these factors might be embodied in the law, whilst others might remain in the informal sphere, but are equally, if not more, crucial for the appointment of civil servants. Political factors must not only be important during the appointment process of a civil servant, but also during his/her career. Also, civil servants can be related in different ways during the policy-making process. Both dimensions are important for the classification of a civil service system but they rarely go hand-in-hand. This means that even in a highly politicized civil service system, civil servants can only be expected to follow the instructions of their superiors, with whom they are expected to agree despite their personal political beliefs. In contrast, a neutral civil service can often be a strong ‘in-house’ opponent, through the so-called "neutral competence" (Sayre and Kaufman, 1960). Practice has shown that in a one-party dominant regime, the former exists, whilst the latter characterizes those countries in which the civil service has a long history of impartiality such as the UK (Hennessy, 1989).
As previously mentioned, this theory has ranked the various civil service systems into five groups (Peters, 1987). A number of authors support this division with a few other, usually minor advancements (Rose, 1987). In the first model the clear separation between politicians and the administration exists, whereby civil servants are ready to unquestioningly follow orders from political appointees. The second model ("village life") assumes that civil servants and politicians are both part of a unified state elite and should not be in conflict over power within the government structure itself. The third model ("functional village life") assumes a certain degree of integration in civil service and political careers. A politician and civil servant from one government department have more in common than a minister with his political cabinet colleagues heading different governmental portfolios. The fourth model ("adverse model") assumes a significant split between the two groups (politicians and bureaucrats), with no clear resolutions to their struggle for power. The fifth model assumes a clear separation between policy-makers and administration, but in which civil servants are the dominant force (see: Wilson, 1975). All these models are theoretical, and practice shows that different patterns of interaction exist between politicians and the civil service. Models represent a stylized illustration of inter-active behaviour (see: Giddens, 1971).
"Functional village life" and "village life" are the most common models in continental European. However, with some policy changes even in a presidential system, there appeared to be different ways of networking between politicians, public servants and experts working outside the government structure. However, the nature of such networking is rather temporary, and the main characteristics of the civil service system prevail. This shows that an every particular civil service system is "nationally coloured" (Sevic, 1997), and "ethos-generated" characteristics cannot be neglected or avoided. Each country deals with its own national civil service system, with due attention and tries to utilize other's experiences, but not neglecting its own specificities demonstrated through the legal system and legal order (Sevic, 1996), political culture, democratic traditions (or lack of the same), ethos-characteristics, etc. The same applies to the particular problem of civil service system (de)politization.

3. Yugoslavian Civil Service: An Applied Case-Study
The Federal Republic of Yugoslavia (Savezna Republika Jugoslavija) is a federal country in South-East Europe, consisting of two republics, federal units: Serbia and Montenegro. Like every other federal country, it has two level administrations: federal and republican. In the Constitution introduced in 1992, the republics are defined as the sovereign states, while it is assumed that they have transferred some of their original sovereign powers to the federation. De jure, the problem is that both republics introduced their own constitutions before the federal one was made, and those were never properly adjusted to the new federal constitutional agreement. This would not constitute a large problem if these two republics were not previously in the Socialist Federative Republic of Yugoslavia, which was dissolved through armed conflict, and open secession of some of its federal units.
The dissolution of the socialist federative Yugoslavia was regarded as immanent by all the analysts of Yugoslav affairs, in the early 1990s. All the republics which were the federal units at the time (Bosnia-Herzegovina, Croatia, Macedonia, Montenegro, Serbia and Slovenia) introduced new constitutions attracting all powers to the new republics, disregarding all the norms of the Yugoslav Federal Constitution of 1974. In 1989-1990 the federation de facto ceased to exist as the federal government was prevented, by the republics, from meeting its duties. A year or two later with the formal (although unlawful) secession of Slovenia, followed by Croatia, Bosnia and Herzegovina and Macedonia, the federation de jure ceased to exist. In many respects, the dissolution of the previous Yugoslav federation was an expected consequence of a quasi-federal, (in fact, confederal agreement) contended in the Yugoslav Federal Constitution of 1974, as argued by many (see: Sevic, 1996).
Republics which seceded from the previous Yugoslav Federation entered the process of state-building (Bicanic, 1996), while the Federal Republic of Yugoslavia inherited a government structure from the previous federation, although the international community denies the Federal Republic of Yugoslavia the rights of continuity with the former federation. As the question of the recognition of continuity has always been a political one, we do not want to enter discussion on an issue which is beyond the scope of our study. However, it should be mentioned that Serbia and Montenegro gave up their sovereignty when the Kingdom of Serbs, Croat and Slovenians (later, in 1929, renamed into the Kingdom of Yugoslavia) was created in 1918. It seems that the new Yugoslavia has not recognized even those rights that Serbia and Montenegro transferred to the new country in which they joined, in 1918.
Although, the break-up of Yugoslavia was politically expected, it seems that the civil service in both current Yugoslav republics were remarkably unprepared. From the federal administration nothing could have been expected, as it was for years a shelter (last-resort) for incapable administrative personnel and party officials rising from the federal units. For years the federal public administration was intentionally neglected and marginalized, as the republics were attracting over the years, from 1974 more and more, de facto and de jure power, far beyond the constitutional limits. The former federal Yugoslav government headed by Ante Markovic (who was appointed to the post after log-rolling in which the Serbian candidate was neglected, and the "national key principle" for the first time ignored), attempted to reform the federal administration, but they did not go further than establishing the Federal Commission on the Public Administration Reform, headed by the Prime Minister, himself.
As we have just said, new Yugoslavia inherited a federal public administration, while the administrations of the remaining federal units (Montenegro and Serbia) were not technically and personally prepared to cope with a new environment. A number of monetary and financial affairs were organized and executed directly at the federal level, and now suddenly the federal administration de facto ceased to operate. It was necessary to organize the full application of federal legislation on the territory of the Republic, or introduce new laws. Since the political decision was to carry-on with the federation despite other members' secession acts, federal laws were still enforced in Serbia and Montenegro. Over this time (1990-1992) the republican administrations regained a lot of power that previously belonged to the federation. When the new federal agreement was reached in 1992, it was difficult to deprive the federal units of the powers that they attracted over a difficult transitional period. Although six years had passed from the day when the new Yugoslav federal constitution was proclaimed, the process of transfer of power from federal units to the federation is very slow, and unfinished.
Yugoslavia applies the concept of a unique civil service which allows civil servants to be more mobile within the Service. It is fairly easy to be transferred from one governmental unit to another, or to a post in the administration of the parliament. Court (judiciary) administration, is somewhat separate, due to the fact that judges are 'elected' by the parliament, where a special legal regime applies there. For most of the professional positions in the judiciary a bar examination is required for the appointment. Administrative supporting staff in the courts is however mobile, like their colleagues in the "pure" civil service. Despite the non-existence of legal limitations for the transfer, the mobility is to a large extent exercised within the sub-service itself. The civil service in general is under the supervision of the Department for Public Administration Affairs at the Ministry of Justice. In this paper we will mainly discuss the civil service system in Serbia, as that is a blueprint applied in Montenegro or at federal level, discarding certain nuances.
At the moment there are 22 ministries and 8 separate administrative organizations in Serbia. According to the Law on Ministries of 1991, ministries exercise executive power, while administrative organizations perform professional duties supporting the functioning of the government (Hydro-Meteorological Institute, Statistical Office, etc.). Ministries, as well as administrative organizations are divided into Departments which perform operations in certain branches of executive power. Usually, departments are established to group certain duties and affairs. In multi-portfolio ministries (Science and Technology, for instance), a department covers one of the portfolios, while in "unique" ministries (Finance, for example) departments are organized to group together similar affairs (Budget Planning, Budget Execution, State Property Affairs, Financial and Economic System Affairs, Accounting and National Balances). In all the ministries there is a general department called Secretariat which is in charge of general and common affairs in the Ministry (personnel, general administration, procurement, Minister's Office, welfare, etc.).
In some ministries a special division can be established and directly linked to the Minister, without departmental affiliation. Departments are separated into divisions, which are further divided into groups, and groups into sections. Sections can have units. At all the named level of organization it is possible to set-up a special advisory post filled by one person, but technically treated the same as an organizational unit. Even a minister is de jure allowed to reorganize a ministry, but the by-law on Ministry internal organization must be approved at a governmental meeting. A special body called a Ministry's Council exists in the ministries in Serbia. Generally, the Council is an advisory body consisting of scholars, professionals, distinguished public figures who can advise minister on policy and technical issues. In multi-portfolio ministries usually there are two or three councils depending on how many portfolios a ministry covers. Although the body has an advisory role, it can be sometimes quite powerful, since it is usually a "politician-free area", and where leading public figures take part. The council is a special think-tank body.
A ministry is headed by a minister elected by Parliament, who has his/her deputy appointed by the government. Technically, both of them are pure political appointees. However, in some exceptional cases a deputy minister can be a distinguished administrator and/or professional, not politically affiliated with (or even backed by) the ruling party (or ruling coalition). The Ministry's Secretariat is headed by the Secretary to the Ministry, who is in charge of providing necessary technical advise for the day-to-day functioning of the ministry. He is technically a senior civil servant. The department head holds the title of an Assistant Minister. However, sometimes the Deputy Minister can be simultaneously a Departmental head. According to the law they (Assistant Ministers) are fully responsible for law enforcement and application of governmental policies in his (her) Department's area. However, their responsibility should be considered as technical/professional rather than political. Political responsibility is purely ministerial. Administrative agencies are headed by a Director (or rarely a Secretary, i.e. only in the case of the Secretariat for Legislation), who has a deputy. Departments are headed by assistant directors. In the administrative organizations the duty of the permanent Secretary does not exist. Formally, Deputy Ministers, Secretaries and Assistant Ministers, along with Directors, Deputy Directors and Assistant Directors (a Deputy Secretary and Assistant Secretaries in the case that an administrative organization is headed by a Secretary) create a group of Senior Civil Servants ("Mandarins"). Administrative laws in Yugoslavia do not use the term Senior Civil servant, but "appointed personnel", as opposed to other groups such as "elected personnel", i.e. ministers, or "employed personnel", that is professional and technical staff up to the rank of "Adviser to the Minister". In a few rare cases a civil servant can be promoted to the rank of a "Republican Adviser", which is hierarchically below an Assistant Minister's rank. Republican Advisers can be appointed only in the Secretariat of the Government or the Secretariat to the President of the Republic.
There is no centralized procedure for entry into the Civil Service. However, in the last few years the Republican Ministry of Justice has tried to centralize new entry into judicial administration for a "court clerks-trainee" (sudski pripravnik). According to the law, before being allowed to register for a Bar examination, a law graduate must spend two years in court, public prosecutor's or public attorney's office or in private law practice, as a trainee. The Ministry to a certain extent centralized an entry into entrants' position in the courts' administration. Every ministry until now has been free to set-up its own entry-procedures. Usually, when there is a vacancy, this will be advertised widely in the national press and in the "Official Gazette of the Republic of Serbia" (Sluzbeni glasnik Republike Srbije). Interested people would apply and usually after attending for an interview, a choice will be made by the minister upon a proposal submitted by a personnel commission and Assistant Minister in whose department the appointment is to be made. A new entrant to the Service will be appointed as an Administrative Officer (Strucni saradnik), if they hold a university or higher degree, officer (Saradnik) if they have an associate degree equal to the British HND (two-three years post-secondary education within or out of a University), and clerk (Referent) if they have a secondary education. New entrants in all these positions will be a trainee (pripravnik) for a year if with an associate degree (HND) and full degree and six months if with a secondary school qualification. In such case the full title will be combination of a title of the post and word trainee, i.e. for example strucni saradnik-pripravnik.
After a certain number of years in service, with satisfactory results, a civil servant will be promoted almost automatically up to the rank of an "Autonomous Administrative Officer" (Samostalni strucni saradnik). Promotion to the next rank "Advisor to the Minister" (Savetnik ministra) is based on both merit and availability of a position in the ministry or Service as a whole.
A new entrant can also be employed without pay as a volunteer, in order to gain professional experience. However, volunteer may enjoy all the other rights as a full-time employee. After twelve months for a person with a University or associate degree or six months for a person with secondary education, a new entrant must successfully complete a trainee examinations in order to be appointed as tenured staff. Civil servants are obliged to complete a professional examination (strucni ispit) which comprises two parts. A general part devoted to Constitutional and Administrative law issues, Public Administration etc. and similarly for the whole Civil Service, while a specialized part differs from ministry to ministry, depending on its specialized jurisdictions. Each minister stipulates the programme for this examination. If a civil servant fails to pass an examination, he will be fired, almost automatically.
As we have seen, the law recognizes three classes of members in the Civil Service. "Elected" (izabrana lica), i.e. ministers, "appointed" (postavljena lica), i.e. members of Service who have been appointed by the government and "employed" (zaposleni) who are "ordinary" civil servants, that is "career civil servants". Although there is a unique legal regime for all these three groups there is, in fact, quite a difference between them. First, the Law on Employment Relations in the Public Administration of 1991 lists all of them when speaking about rights, but is usually only employed when it comes to issues of responsibilities (duties). Probably, because there are other responsibility rules for other two groups. Finally, ministers as elected officials are always, at the far end, accountable to Parliament, which elected them to the post. Appointed personnel are appointed by the government for four years, but with any change of government changes amongst deputy and assistant ministers are to be expected. Despite the fact that the socialist governments have been in power for last seven years changes in the Senior Civil Service corps have been noticeable. Usually, when every minister takes the post up, he/she tries to establish his/her own executive team. But, again this pattern cannot be applied to the main ministries (Finance, Internal Affairs, Education...). In these ministries the senior civil servants team has been almost the same for a long time.
The Law stipulates that all, elected, appointed and employed personnel should perform their duties in a responsible and unbiased way, in accordance with the Constitution and law (Art. 4/1 Law on the Employment Relations in the State Administration of 1991). Employed and appointed personnel must not, in the execution of their duties, be guided by their political beliefs, and cannot express and advocate them (publicly). As we can see de jure the Serbian Civil Service is fully apolitical. The law also stipulates that employed or appointed person cannot be a member of the bodies of the political parties (Art. 5/3 Law on the Employment Relations in the Public Administration of 1991). In this respect the federal laws are lacking. Due to the problem of transfer of republican rights to the federal level, some of the laws are jammed in the Federal Parliament.
The federal civil service is regulated by the Law on the Federal Organs and Organizations of 1978, although by its amended version. As one can assume the Law is fairly outdated, and cannot in any way suite the needs of the new Federation. This is one of the reasons why some Senior federal civil servants are sitting on the executive committees of the political parties, or are well-known to the general public as prominent party members. In a just few cases they are members of the Socialist Party of Serbia (SPS), but in the vast majority of cases they belong to its coalition partners Yugoslav Left (JUL) and New Democracy (ND). There are cases when some are members of opposition parties as well, especially in the Ministry of Foreign Affairs. Especially, JUL is distinguished by its disregard of political morality and law in this matter. It seems that they (JUL) even want to appoint as many of their members as possible to public posts (Sevic and Vukasinovic, 1997). In the latest Serbian elections (1997) it appeared that a chief of staff (who is a regular civil servant) to one of the most important Ministers is at the same time a spokesman of JUL. Certainly, such cases undermine the social credibility of the civil service. At the republican level, the ruling socialists obey the law.
Persons appointed to senior civil service positions at the republican level of government are usually not members of the SPS bodies. However, senior civil servants can be summoned to give their opinion or report on policy matter or the state of affairs in the department that they administer on an internal party meeting, although this is fairly rare in practice. This job is usually performed personally by a minister. To our best knowledge a membership in the ruling party is not, even de facto, a requirement for entry into the Civil Service. Again, a junior coalition partner, JUL has some other ideas. They try their best to employ young JUL members with the civil service. Until now they have succeeded in a marginal number of cases, and are very persistent in pursuing their endeavour, which is certainly frightening. In many respects, their perception of Civil Service should worry, as they revamp the concept for that was believed to have died with the fall of communism. And, as practice has shown a junior coalition partner is always capable of blackmailing a senior partner, especially in a fragile coalition.
Nevertheless, similar pattern of politicization of civil service has been noticed even in cities in which so-called "democratic opposition" took power (Sevic and Vukasinovic, 1997). In this process sometimes distinguished themselves especially the Democratic Party (DS) and Serbian Renewal Movement (SPO). Namely, after they took power, they pursued the cleansing of the city administrations not only amongst "mandarins" but also in the lower ranks. Most of the newly employed were either party-members or party supporters. Usually, members of other parties who were civil servants were fired for a variety of formal reasons. In contrast, in the republican and federal administration there is a significant number of permanently employed who do not like (or even detest) the ruling Socialist Party (SPS). It was reported that after the Socialist election victory in 1993 some civil servants in the Prime Minister's Building were literally crying. However, none of the ministers or senior civil servants summoned them before disciplinary commissions because of this public demonstration of clear political bias. In many respects, Yugoslavia, as well as Serbia itself has some characteristics of an arbitrary state (Pejovich, 1996; Sevic, 1997). Discarding other characteristics for the purpose of this paper, the arbitrary state is characterized by large discrepancy between legal system and legal order (see: Sevic, 1996), that is the legal system is fairly well developed, but laws are applied in a discriminatory way. Citizen knows that laws exist, but cannot be entirely sure that they will be properly applied in the particular cases. In an arbitrary state, the law is developed, but legal insecurity remains present, due to incompetent or apathetic law enforcement (Sevic, 1997).
The most worrying aspect is the fact that political parties in both Serbia and Montenegro do not pay attention to the Civil Service, its development and ways of how to reform it. As a result of this lack of interest there is a very awkward situation at the federal level, where is laws created twenty years ago during a mono-party monopoly over the political system are still applied. None of the political parties have prepared a programme or expressed the main points of how they will tackle the problem of civil service reform.
Despite a strong belief that Serbian civil service is highly politicized, it is not. The Serbian Socialist Party follows the usual pattern of a increased politization which is fairly common for all the left-wing political parties. If we consider a civil service model which is applicable in Serbian case, certainly we would most seriously consider a "functional village life" model as the most appropriate. Staff in the ministries have been there for ages and are still able to adjust quickly to a new minister, probably knowing that he/she would not last for long. Usually, a minister comes from the business sector which is connected with a particular ministry. This certainly increases the possibility of a special kind of log-rolling or executive rent-seeking, as the minister tries to favour his/her former (or even current) company or its business associates. In our view one of the problems undermining the efficiency of the governmental policies is the fact that a vast majority of Serbian ministers are at the same time a director or CEO of large and influential companies. These companies often uses insider information to earn extra-benefits over expected government policies.
Another problem of the Civil Service in Serbia is the unfavourable professional structure. Namely, the average age is rather high, and the job for life concept acts as an incentive for civil servants not to develop their skills further. Earlier there were the Institutes for Public Administration, but they did not influence Civil Service Development greatly, despite the opinion of some Yugoslav scholars (Kavran, 1995; 1996). Also, there has been an idea to re-establish the Institute for Public Administration (Kavran, 1996, Rabrenovic and Vukasinovic, 1996), but it seems that this is far from becoming operational in the foreseeable future. In our view, there is little that can be done without serious cuts in the Service. The problem is that young people who enter into the Civil Service loose their interest and enthusiasm pretty quickly, and accept mediocre standards fast. Like many other civil services in the World, the Serbian Civil Service usually accepts graduates from the leading national institutions, such as the University of Belgrade's Faculty of Law. New entrants are, generally, top students and with personal skills of a remarkable quality. However, nepotism is still an existing factor which undermines most of their positive results. When new entrants enter the career they usually stop to develop individual skills. There is also no special fast-stream or high-flier programme, so usually involvement into politics or close connections with the politicians might help promotion into senior posts. However, the latter is not typical only of the Serbian Civil Service, but also for most of Continental European countries, especially those influenced by the parties which were, or have been, in power for a long time.
The Civil Service in Serbia, i.e. Yugoslavia did not undergo the process of democratic reform, which was exercised in other CEECs, after the fall of communism. There are many reasons for that. Some of them are of an internal nature, such as national resistance to change (Rabrenovic and Sevic, 1997), while others were induced by foreign factors (the UN boycott and isolation of Yugoslavia). Undoubtedly, the existing barriers to normal communication with the outside World will not help the democratization of society, and consequently the civil service. Foreign technical assistance is necessary, as well as the efforts to erase the inefficient arbitrary state and return peoples confidence in the system itself. Fortunately, in Yugoslavia NGOs' civic sector is becoming stronger, and citizens participation increasing (Rabrenovic, 1997). In our view this will spur changes quickly and help the introduction of transparent policy models which would prevent over-politicization of the civil service. However, in contrast, the political parties are quite a disappointment, as they tend to politicize civil service, regardless of their ideological affiliations. As many connoisseurs of the Serbian political arena have observed, everybody criticizes the Regime, but when in power would not change the method of ruling. How disappointing, especially for democratically oriented people who believed change and social progress would arrive quickly, as a result of a positive democratic energy accumulated within the Serbian, i.e. Yugoslav, society which arose in December 1996 during the so-called pro-democracy demonstrations and protests.
4. Conclusion: From Where to What?
In this paper we have once again demonstrated that the study of the relationship between politicians and civil servants is one of the core themes in Public Administration, regardless of the methodology applied or school affiliation of a scholar. Undoubtedly, there are just a few, if any who would argue that there is a "clear cut" between the government and public administration. However, the classical textbook distinction between policy-formulation and policy-implementation is still valid, and will be valid, at least, in the near future. But, the technical side of government (bureaucracy) will be always finding new, innovative ways of influencing policy-making, especially when the expected policy stance conflicts with their specific social group interests. It has been reported that policy measures, often, failed to achieve the desired results when there was strong opposition from the Civil Service. On the other hand growing politization of the public service has shown the increasing importance of administrative aspects of the policy-making process (Rockman, 1992). Despite our general belief (as scholars), expressed in our working theoretical models, that politicians and civil servants fight over power, practice has proven different. In contemporary politics, the politicians who head the ministries and "their" senior civil servants create a special coalition to pursue interests of their ministry. The larger ministry with a lion's share in the Budget - the better. However, often the power situation within the government does not really depict the relationship within society.
In a developing or transitional country increasing power of the Ministry of Internal Affairs (Police), certainly doe not support the economic development and overall social well-being of the population, even if the crime rate falls. Log-rolling and rent-seeking are not socially productive functions; but they are certainly unavoidable in contemporary politics. Coalition between politicians who should supervise the civil servants and civil servants themselves can significantly increase the costs of rent-seeking, spreading the very base of those who might be "entitled" to rent. Models developed by Aberbach Putnam and Rockman (Aberbach, Putnam and Rockman, 1981) and Peters (Peters, 1987) contributed to a better understanding of models of such a relationship within various types of the civil service systems. Peters especially contributed to the better understanding of close coalitions which may occur between politicians and 'bureaucrats' within a certain sector of public policy (Peters, 1987).
As we have previously seen, Peters’ two models called "village life" and, especially "functional village life" helps us to understand in a better way the relations between policy-makers and administrative executives in Continental Europe. The latter is particularly more compatible with Continental European fused model of administrative and political careers. But, as noted earlier, this has recently appeared in some presidential (or quasi-presidential) systems as well, through "issue networks" and "policy communities". The relationship which is established between politicians and civil servants relies not only upon systemic factors, but also on a set of contextual factors that can be derived from national ethos, policy sector's characteristics, ideological settings, social timing, etc. These factors vary from country to country and although, it is possible to list them, broader generalization is not recommended
In the communist countries there was no clear distinction between a political appointment and civil service post. Also, there was no clear formal distinction between party post and position with the government. In practice, the post in the party apparatus was even more appreciated and drew with itself more privileges. In countries with a lack of democratic tradition, high politization can be seen through efficient work or oppressive branches of civil service (police, secret service, intelligence agencies, et similar), and limitation of human rights. But, with civic development and inclusion of many segments of society in the process and making policy more transparent, the political culture will develop itself. Civic development is a long process in which foreign help is not of the highest importance. The foreign factor can help through supporting civic education, nascent NGO sector and cultural exchanges with other countries, etc. However, direct support to the political parties can prove counter-productive, as it can support the development of rent-seeking behaviour and prevent bringing forward their own models of party financing and development.
In the case-study, we have considered mainly the Serbian Civil Service, as it has been a blueprint for the definition of relationship on the federal level, as well as to some extent in Montenegro. Although there is a widely spread belief that Serbian Public Administration is highly politicized, we could not find direct proof which would support strongly such claims. Certainly, Serbia follows the model of "functional village life", in which there exists the close "bond" between politicians and civil servants in the same governmental portfolio. Often civil servants, especially senior ones previously held some political positions, although generally, in local and regional governments. Recently, the mobility of civil servants has increased, probably due to the takeover of major cities by opposition parties. If the entry to the Republican public administration is initiated by a change of government on the local level, it strongly suggests that there is still strong sense of loyalty to the ruling party; which demonstrates quite a high level of the administration's politization. Also, party membership means nothing with regard to public service employment, as a large number of civil servants are not members of political parties. New young entrants to the service are usually apolitical, although there are attempts by some parties (Yugoslav Associated Left, i.e. JUL) to employ the prominent young party members in the Civil Service. The Serbian ruling party coalition members differ on this issue. The JUL has classical neo-communist concept of civil service, which threatens to push the whole country forty or fifty years backwards, despite catchy political slogans launched in the pre-election campaign. In contrast, SPS does not show direct interest in civil service appointments, except for the most senior civil servants, who are in fact professionals, but politically approved appointees. The nomination of deputy and assistant ministers is the right and duty of a minister, but prior consultations are necessary within the Government Personnel Commission headed by a Deputy Prime Minister. In the phase of compulsory consultations, the ruling party (or ruling coalition) can exercise its influence. However, up-to-date practice has shown that a determined minister always gets the team he/she desires; even if the party strongly objects. But, practice has also shown that when the most senior civil servants are prominent party members (respecting the law and resigning from the party organs), a ministry performs better, leads fairly consistent policy and enters into eventual political conflict whenever it is necessary and opportune for the cause of the ministry and policy sector as a whole. In contrast, the ministries in which the senior administrative team has no (strong) "party roots" are much more inert, trying to avoid, at any costs, public and government attention. Often those ministries are quite ineffective (at least in the Serbian political environment).
Certainly, the Serbian Civil Service needs an immediate, complex and overall reform, as proposed by many (Kavran, 1997; Sevic and Vukasinovic, 1997, etc.). However, a primary target should not be eventual depolitization, yet reform should start with the introduction of unique criteria and State Examination for an entry into the Civil Service. Then, the introduction of a favourable and attractive 'early retirement scheme', which would allow the Civil Service to release itself of old-fashion personnel. With the introduction of continuous staff development programmes civil servants would continue to develop further their professional, interpersonal and other transferable skills, which are undoubtedly very important for effective day-to-day response to the challenges of a permanently changing social environment. When full mobility within the national labour market is introduced, the fear of losing a job will diminish, and civil servants who are educated and trained as professionals will be more outspoken, and level of professional dignity will rise, bringing better performance for all. At the moment, scholars analyzing the transitional and developing countries are fairly worried about the power of organized bureaucracy. However, within the society with a proper level of human rights the problem of (over)politization of the Civil Service might vanish on its own. As usual, time gives a sense of relativity to everything; and consequently will do, with this complex problem, as well.

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Zakon o vladi Republike Srbije [Law on the Government of the Republic of Serbia], Official Gazette of the Republic of Serbia, No. 5/91
Zakon o Vladi Crne Gore [Law on the Government of Montenegro], Official Gazette of the Republic of Montenegro, No. 45/91

* Department of Economic Studies, University of Dundee, Dundee, Scotland,

*** Department of Political Sciences, Faculty of Law, University of Belgrade, Serbia, Yugoslavia

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