Publications Publications

Papers presented at conferences and workshops

1. ‘One civil service or many’, presented by Sara Connolly and Hussein Kassim at TARN lecture at ARENA, University of Oslo, 30th May 2017

Abstract: Scholarship on the EU bureaucracy has focused overwhelmingly on the European Commission. Though the Commission is larger than other institutions and it plays a central role in the EU system, it forms only one part of the EU administration. Drawing on new empirical data from research on the Commission and on the General Secretariat of the Council, this paper compares EU civil servants from the two. It finds that, despite similar backgrounds and profiles, staff from the two bodies differ in terms of their beliefs, values and attitudes. The paper argues, first, that the differences can be explained by different socialising impacts exerted by the two bodies and, second, that the comparison has important implications for the existing literature on socialization in EU institutions.

2. ‘Putting silos to the test. The case of the EU civil service’, paper presented at the Paper prepared for presentation at the EUSA Fifteenth Biennial Conference, Miami, Florida May 4-6, 2017, by Francesca Pia Vantaggiato, Sara Connolly, and Hussein Kassim

Abstract: Although, according to insiders and outsiders alike, bureaucracies are typically fragmented into ‘silos', such claims have rarely been tested empirically. The range and the frequency of employees’ interactions both within and outside their teams and departments, or the extent to which the pattern of such interactions reflect the tasks, roles or values of staff in different parts and levels of the organization, have seldom been the object of systematic investigation. This paper draws on new empirical data from recent research on the European Commission (2014 survey achieved sample n=5545, interviews n=244, focus groups n=5) and on the General Secretariat of the Council (2016 survey achieved sample n=1356, interviews =117, focus groups=5) to examine the ways in which EU civil servants interact among themselves and with stakeholders. Using the technique of blockmodeling, the paper maps out these two parts of the EU civil service in positional and relational terms. Identifying for whom, with whom and where contacts are more extensive or frequent and where working patterns are most insular, it challenges both the general image of bureaucracies as ‘stovepipes’ and the more specific depiction of the Commission and Council Secretariat as irrevocably fragmented administrations.