This article explores the compound machinery of government. Attention is directed toward decision making within the core executive of the European Union - the European Commission. The article studies seconded national civil servants (SNEs) hired on short-term contracts. The analysis benefits from an original and rich body of surveys and interview data derived from current and former SNEs. The decision-making dynamics of SNEs are shown to contain a compound mix of departmental, epistemic, and supranational dynamics. This study clearly demonstrates that the socializing power of the Commission is conditional and only partly sustained when SNEs exit the Commission. Any long-lasting effect of socialization within European Union's executive machinery of government is largely absent. The compound decision-making dynamics of SNEs are explained by (1) the organizational affiliations of SNEs, (2) the formal organization of the Commission apparatus, and (3) only partly by processes of resocialization of SNEs within the Commission.

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Journal Governance
Note Includes OA Author Manuscript, 21 pp
Trondal, J, van den Berg, C, & Suvarierol, S. (2008). The compound machinery of government: The case of seconded officials in the European commission. Governance, 21(2), 253–274. doi:10.1111/j.1468-0491.2008.00398.x