Recent developments in the US, some European and Latin American countries have provoked conflictual and controversial debates about the threat of populism for representative democracy. Many cures to this “malaise of the 21st century” have been proposed by both general public, practitioners, and scholars. The delegation of political decision-making to non-partisan experts (technocrats) that ensures neutral and non-particularistic politics has been praised as a solution for populism. Being understood as a power based on technical knowledge, a source of legitimacy and a non-partisan form of representation, technocracy promises better policy implementation and long-term policy orientation. This is due to a system that is run by experts who are not guided by political considerations but by professional decisions favorable to society as a whole.
The panel deals with the political and policy consequences of technocracy around the world. Among other research questions, it aims to answer whether technocratic governments provide different (or even better) policies than coalitions composed of party people? What are the political consequences of technocracy? How have these outsider leaders changed party government as we know it?
The panel aims to answer these critical research questions and invites single-country as well as comparative papers from around the world. It welcomes methodologically diverse papers as well as papers employing a mixed-method design.