The Politics-Bureaucracy Interface: Impact on Development Reform

This paper provides an in-depth review of the existing research on the relationship between political and bureaucratic leaders in developing countries, the factors that shape this relationship, and the impact it has on the success and failure of reforms.

The findings suggest that political-bureaucratic relations that support successful reform often involve:

  • a core group of political and bureaucratic leaders who work closely together and share development-centred values and aims;
  • bureaucrats who have unusually high levels of influence in designing policy; and
  • strong political leadership promoting the reform.


About DLP

The Developmental Leadership Program (DLP) is an international research initiative that explores how leadership, power and political processes drive or block successful development.

DLP focuses on the crucial role of home-grown leaderships and coalitions in forging legitimate political settlements and institutions that promote developmental outcomes, such as sustainable growth, political stability and inclusive social development.

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New article - To Boldly Know: Knowledge, Peacekeeping and Remote Data Gathering in Conflict-Affected States

Thursday 12th October 2017

In this article in the Journal of International Peacekeeping, DLP researcher Suda Perera critically evaluates crowdsourcing's uses and abuses, and warns against an over-reliance on remotely gathered conflict data.

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Why political settlements matter

Thursday 5th October 2017

Join us on 5 Oct 2017 at ODI (10-11:30am) to discuss the research featured in a special issue of The Journal of International Development co-edited by Alina Rocha Menocal (DLP and ODI) and Jan Pospisil (Political Settlements Research Programme at the University of Edinburgh).

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