Table of Contents for Governance Systems Design

also called 'officers'

note: election procedures are discussed in Voting and elections.

High officials vs bureaucrats

These terms are used in different ways by different people. Here is how we'll use them here.

todo High officials are those in positions that are sufficiently powerful such that there is some concern that perhaps one or more people in such positions could somehow 'seize power' and 'take over' the organization as a whole, forcing it to do undesirable things; here we include members of the legislature. Bureaucrats are other officials within the executive branch.

'high official' is not always the same as 'executive officer'.

High officials

the less instances there are of some office, the more prestigious it is

term limits eg even Sparta had 'em

independence criteria

names of things president consul magistrate judge ceo, prime minister, minister etc

e has power who:

he has power over a person who:


civil service civil service exams?

possible example of the above affecting policy:


pattern seen often in history: a powerful official has a set of officials who are in theory their delegates and advisors; however there is also another group of informal advisors

the informal advisor group can consist of:


i have no evidence for this, but it's possible that sometimes this pattern even repeats; perhaps the informal advisory positions are formalized into eg a Privy Council, and then perhaps later officials feel a need to go outside of the Privy Council for truly informal advisors again.

another pattern seen often: a Court, where the companions in an official's household substantially overlaps with bureaucrats of their adminstration: "the court is an extension of the great individual's household; wherever members of the household and bureaucrats of the administration overlap in personnel, it is sensible to speak of a "court"" [4].