Bureaucratic Spleen: Europeanization and Resistance to Change in Romanian Public Administration


Amanda Bosovcki


In this paper, we analyse the way in which positive communication of European knowledge produces a series of perverse effects at the level of Romanian public administration, effects that take the form of an avoidance strategy. In other words, confronted with certain change requirements, Romanian public institutions react by decoupling the structural aspects from their specific activities. This form of resistance is unconscious, passive and continuously interiorized through the relationship and interaction with the elements of change. Instead of dislocating an inertial state of mind which is specific to the ‘iron cage’ of bureaucracy, the positive communication regarding europeanization and the formal embracement of all its components and regulations, does nothing else but consolidate and even resuscitate this state of sufficiency and passive compliance. In order to better understand the Romanian public administration’s reaction to change, we introduce the concept of bureaucratic spleen. This oxymoronic concept points out the apparent paradox of simultaneous acceptance and rejection, change and resistance to change, and that of a cognitive tacit state of mind that is antagonistic to its own explicit dimension, all of these manifested along an emotional background of melancholy and assumed sufficiency, in the context of a major change process, the Europeanization of Romanian public administration.


Author Biography

Amanda Bosovcki, Babeș-Bolyai University

Address: 1 Mihail Kogălniceanu Street, 400084, Cluj-Napoca, Cluj County, Romania.

E-mail: amandabosovcki@yahoo.com

How to Cite
Bosovcki, A. (1). Bureaucratic Spleen: Europeanization and Resistance to Change in Romanian Public Administration. Sociologie Românească, 11(4), 40-54. Retrieved from http://revistasociologieromaneasca.ro/sr/article/view/2013_4_bosovcki