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Presidential Politicization in the Post-Watergate Era

Sat, August 31, 12:00 to 1:30pm, Marriott, Harding


What strategies do presidents use to manage the federal bureaucracy? Previous research has theorized that politicization—the usage of appointees as a means of political control—represents a key goal. However, data limitations have meant that most large-N studies of corresponding politicization strategies have been limited to examination of the last twenty years. Here, using recently-released federal payroll records from 1973-2014, we provide the first large-scale analysis of politicization strategies over the first forty years of the post-Watergate era. Our analysis has implications for scholars of bureaucratic appointments, public administration, and executive politics.