The Spatial Dimensions of Ministerial Reorganization in Poland: Towards a Framework of Analysis Based on Tor Hernes

Devon M. Lechtenberg


Although government institutions are an important and well-studied part of the transition literature on Central and Eastern Europe (CEE), there has been little theorization of the spaces of public administration in this region. This constitutes a missed opportunity for scholars of the region interested in the “spatial turn” of the social sciences. Tor Hernes’ (2004) concepts of the spatial characteristics of organizations can serve as a useful tool in examining the effect of external political forces on the internal dynamics of public administration in CEE and other regional contexts.Using the recent merger of two Polish ministries in 2013 as a case study, it is shown that a number of distinct, yet overlapping and intersecting spaces were brought to the forefront by political pressures. Incorporating spatial concerns within the analysis of public administration will arguably improve the understanding of this complex phenomenon in the context of a changing political environment.

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