Skip to content
Register Sign in Wishlist
Organizing Leviathan

Organizing Leviathan
Politicians, Bureaucrats, and the Making of Good Government

$29.99 (G)

  • Date Published: June 2017
  • availability: In stock
  • format: Paperback
  • isbn: 9781316630655

$ 29.99 (G)

Add to cart Add to wishlist

Other available formats:
Hardback, eBook

Looking for an examination copy?

If you are interested in the title for your course we can consider offering an examination copy. To register your interest please contact providing details of the course you are teaching.

Product filter button
About the Authors
  • Why are some countries less corrupt and better governed than others? Challenging conventional explanations on the remarkable differences in quality of government worldwide, this book argues that the organization of bureaucracy is an often overlooked but critical factor. Countries where merit-recruited employees occupy public bureaucracies perform better than those where public employees owe their post to political connections. The book provides a coherent theory of why, and ample evidence showing that meritocratic bureaucracies are conducive to lower levels of corruption, higher government effectiveness, and more flexibility to adopt modernizing reforms. Data comes from both a novel dataset on the bureaucratic structures of over 100 countries as well as from narratives of particular countries, with a special focus on the relationship between politicians and bureaucrats in Spain and Sweden. A notable contribution to the literature in comparative politics and public policy on good governance, and to corruption studies more widely.

    • Proposes a novel institutional theory on why some countries are better governed than others, appealing to those unsatisfied with current institutional theories or unsatisfied with non-institutional, structural or culturalist explanations
    • Uses both quantitative and qualitative empirical evidence in a comparative setting
    • Avoids sophisticated jargon and formulas, ideal for both students and academics, as well as policymakers and practitioners
    Read more

    Reviews & endorsements

    'In this impressive book, Dahlstrom and Lapuente think deeply about the organization of the state and the quality of government. They argue that a productive structuring of the relationship between politicians and civil servants minimizes corruption and inefficiency. They explore this relationship with terrific case examples and data on more than 100 countries around the world. It is a terrific example of research that carefully builds bridges across literatures to provide new insights on big questions.' David E. Lewis, Vanderbilt University, Tennessee

    'Dahlstrom and Lapuente succeed in making the study of public bureaucracy central to future research in comparative politics and political economy. They provide considerable and compelling theoretical and empirical evidence for their claim that merit selection is even more important than rules and regulations in both constraining corruption and in improving policy and practice. Theirs is a significant contribution to understanding the variation in the performance of democratic governments. In this era of increasing anti-government populism, they provide hope that at least democracies will be able to continue to perform at high levels and according to the best scientific evidence available.' Margaret Levi, Stanford University, California

    See more reviews

    Customer reviews

    Not yet reviewed

    Be the first to review

    Review was not posted due to profanity


    , create a review

    (If you're not , sign out)

    Please enter the right captcha value
    Please enter a star rating.
    Your review must be a minimum of 12 words.

    How do you rate this item?


    Product details

    • Date Published: June 2017
    • format: Paperback
    • isbn: 9781316630655
    • length: 270 pages
    • dimensions: 227 x 152 x 15 mm
    • weight: 0.39kg
    • availability: In stock
  • Table of Contents

    1. Why relations between politicians and bureaucrats matter
    2. Theory
    3. A closed Weberian bureaucracy
    4. Corruption
    5. Effectiveness
    6. Reforms
    7. Conclusions.

  • Authors

    Carl Dahlström, University of Gothenburg
    Carl Dahlström is Professor at the Department of Political Science, Göteborgs Universitet, Sweden, and Research Fellow at the Quality of Government Institute. His research is concerned with comparative and historical perspectives on public administration, administrative reforms and welfare state policymaking.

    Victor Lapuente, University of Gothenburg
    Victor Lapuente is Associate Professor and Research Fellow in the Quality of Government Institute, at the Department of Political Science, Göteborgs Universitet, Sweden. His research deals with comparative politics and public administration, combining both quantitative and qualitative methods.

Sign In

Please sign in to access your account


Not already registered? Create an account now. ×

Sorry, this resource is locked

Please register or sign in to request access. If you are having problems accessing these resources please email

Register Sign in
Please note that this file is password protected. You will be asked to input your password on the next screen.

» Proceed

You are now leaving the Cambridge University Press website. Your eBook purchase and download will be completed by our partner Please see the permission section of the catalogue page for details of the print & copy limits on our eBooks.

Continue ×

Continue ×

Continue ×

Find content that relates to you

Join us online

This site uses cookies to improve your experience. Read more Close

Are you sure you want to delete your account?

This cannot be undone.


Thank you for your feedback which will help us improve our service.

If you requested a response, we will make sure to get back to you shortly.

Please fill in the required fields in your feedback submission.