Measuring Technocracy: Dimensions, Levels of Analysis and Operationalization

Political Leadership
Daniele Caramani
University of Zurich
Eri Bertsou
University of Zurich
Daniele Caramani
University of Zurich

The theoretical literature on technocracy has recently rediscovered a
classical form of government and proposed new conceptualizations. This renewal of
interest from a theoretical perspective, however, has not been paralleled by a
discussion on its empirical measurement. Starting from a definition of technocracy as
form of power and representation characterized by distinct dimensions, this paper
stresses the need for empirical research on technocracy and offers an
operationalization at four levels of analysis: individual (citizens and MPs),
organizational (political parties and other organizations), institutional (state
institutions) and systemic (the relationship between politics and governance
agencies). The paper aims at both reviewing existing operationalizations and
proposing new ones for each level of analysis – including behavioural, discourse and
aggregate methods – to make comparative and longitudinal analysis of technocracy
possible beyond descriptive case studies.
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