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Stepping out of the Shadow of the Past: How Career Attributes Shape Ministerial Stability in Post-Communist Democracies.

Morgan-Collins, Mona & Jan-H. Meyer Sahling, East European Politics

How do career attributes affect the survival of post-communist ministers? Building on standard models of delegation, we theorize that career attributes determine “desirability” of ministers, and therefore the length of their tenure. In addition, we theorize that political career attributes provide superior expertise and incentives and therefore protection to post-communist ministers. This is in contrast to bureaucratic career attributes that “fall short” on both “desirability” markers. Utilizing a unique data set of individual ministers in four post-communist countries in the first two decades after transition, we provide support for our expectations.  We then demonstrate that while political and bureaucratic attributes gained before transition remain relevant for the stability of post-communist ministers after transition, its value wanes over time as post-transition career attributes gain predominance. Our findings thus  support a positive trajectory of institutional consolidation and “Westernization”, at least as far as ministers’ tenure is concerned.

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