On Trojan Horses and Revolving Doors

In a newly published article of European Journal of Political Research, Jarle Trondal, Zuzana Murdoch and Benny Geys assess the autonomy of national officials in the European Commission.


National officials working in international bureaucracies regularly invoke the fear that member states strategically use such officials for influencing decision making and agenda-setting to their advantage. This article theoretically analyses conditions under which the autonomy of national civil servants in international bureaucracies might become compromised. The ensuing predictions are then tested using a unique survey among seconded national experts (SNEs) in the European Commission (N ≈ 400). Finally, evaluating the characteristics linked to reduced autonomy among SNEs in the Commission, the article illustrates that these officials are, in practice, likely to be relatively independent from member state influence.

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Jarle Trondal, Zuzana Murdoch, and Benny Geys
On Trojan Horses and Revolving Doors: Assessing the Autonomy of National Officials in the European Commission

European Journal of Political Research, vol. 54, no. 2, 2015, pp. 249–270
DOI: 10.1111/1475-6765.12080

Published May 20, 2015 7:55 PM - Last modified May 20, 2015 7:55 PM