Recruitment and Careers of Ministers in Central Eastern Europe and Baltic Countries

  • Elena Semenova
Part of the Palgrave Studies in Political Leadership book series (PSPL)


In this chapter, the recruitment and careers of non-partisan and expert ministers with respect to their political and occupational profiles, portfolios and cabinet tenure are analysed. The analysis is based on the biographical information of 836 ministers from 63 cabinets. The data set encompasses the years 1991–2009. It includes the information from six post-communist EU member countries: Czech Republic, Poland, Slovakia, Estonia, Latvia and Lithuania. The results reveal that a large proportion of cabinet members without any party or parliamentary experience (outsiders) have been appointed to cabinet positions in the countries studied. With respect to portfolios, outsider ministers have been usually assigned to less salient portfolios than their partisan colleagues. The recruitment of expert ministers tended to be subject to the preferences of the prime minister as well as the political situation surrounding the formation of the cabinet. Compared to politically experienced ministers, outsiders have had shorter tenures. Tenures of expert ministers do not differ from that of other ministers. In the conclusion, I apply supply-demand model in order to explain the revealed tendencies and formulate theoretical implications of the study.


Expert ministers Non-partisan ministers Portfolio allocation Technocracy Post-communist countries Political experience 



The author thanks country experts for providing data on ministerial selection in Central European and Baltic countries collected within the EurElite Project: Dr. Mindaugas Kuklys (Lithuania, Latvia, and Estonia), Malgorzata Jasiecka (Poland), and Alzbeta Bernardyova (Czech Republic). The EurElite Project was led by Prof. Heinrich Best and Prof. Maurizio Cotta and supported by the European Science Foundation. The data management within the EurElite Project was conducted by Dr. Michael Edinger.


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Copyright information

© The Author(s) 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  • Elena Semenova
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of Political ScienceFree University of BerlinBerlinGermany

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