Politicization and the Replacement of Top Civil Servants in Denmark



This article of top civil servants in Danish central and local government sheds new light on politicization. A survival analysis shows that since 1970, the risk that a top civil servant will be replaced has increased. There is no evidence of politicization in central government while city managers' risk of replacement increases both when a new mayor, representing another party and holding an absolute majority, and when the shift of mayor takes place within the same party. We interpret these results as evidence of the adaptability of the merit civil service and political executives' stronger insistence on their authority to make discretionary replacements.