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William Resh: New article in Presidential Studies Quarterly

Published by Aubrey Hicks on

Resh, William G. Appointee–Careerist Relations in the Presidential Transition of 2008?2009Presidential Studies Quarterly, 12/2014, Volume 44, Issue 4.


This research takes a different approach from most studies of presidential transitions by examining transition preparations from the unique perspective of the career bureaucrats that provide a critical connection between transitions and governance. I examine how career senior executives perceive management techniques that are commonly prescribed to political appointees, how prominent their application was during the second term of the George W. Bush administration, and what happened at the end of the Bush administration when the White House called for appointees to pursue a transition strategy that required the involvement of career Senior Executive Service members. I find evidence that cooperation between careerists and appointees is conditional, even in a policy area where the president demands it. Career executives’ explicit knowledge of transition preparations is more likely in agencies subject to persistent vacancies among Senate-confirmed appointee positions, and the importance of trust to explicit knowledge exchange is pronounced in agencies with more liberal orientations.

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